to help support dyslexic children
Information and resources on dyslexia to support your child and your family by leading Dyslexia Tutor Chris Blance
Understanding how children with dyslexia learn
When you’re looking to help a child with dyslexia a good place to start is understanding how children learn. There are different kinds of learners and they need to be given information differently to thrive.
When we look at a dyslexic brain through an MRI scan, we can see it behaves slightly differently to a non-dyslexic brain. Dyslexia is believed to be a learning difficultly which centres on the left-hemisphere; this is the part of the brain which helps us with speech, language processing and reading.
Helping your child with dyslexia learn to read
Even though reading may be an issue, the process of reading with a child should be made a special time. This is a time when parent and child can bond and share experiences based around the book that is being read. To begin with it may well be that the parent has to do all the reading, with the child looking on.
This is still a very valuable experience because the story can be talked about. The child can be encouraged to give his or her interpretation of what has just been read. Words can be focused on and their meaning discussed.
How to build confidence in a child with dyslexia
When you have dyslexia and have difficulty reading and writing, your weaknesses are on show every day. It’s not like an obvious physical disability which people can see and therefore understand, it is invisible.
Even now there is still a large amount of ignorance surrounding dyslexia, especially among the general public and even some teachers. One thing we see far too often is for a person displaying signs of dyslexia becoming a target for bullying behaviour. Other children can be cruel with their comments, and an ill-judged comment can have devastating long-term effects.
How important is handwriting and spelling for dyslexics?
It is always an interesting debate when it comes to deciding how important it is to teach handwriting. Why bother now when everyone uses computers with spell checkers?
At least that is the argument I receive whenever I mention the word “handwriting” to many of my dyslexic pupils. Here we briefly look at both opinions.
How to cope as a parent of a child with dyslexia
Having dealt with dyslexic pupils for over 20 years I have witnessed a whole range of emotions from parents. Many parents of dyslexics come to me feeling desperate; having had an uphill battle with schools for support and finding that help has been slow to materialise, infrequent or not appropriate.
Even though we’ve advanced significantly in the understanding of dyslexia there is still a lot of doubt and disagreement in how to help a child with dyslexia.
How to improve learning with repetition
Dyslexia was originally called “Word Blindness”. It is believed to be a genetically inherited condition in which insufficient chemicals called neurotransmitters are present in the linguistic area of the brain. These transmitters are specific chemicals that enable memory to take place and when they are in short supply, memory is poor. When this area is not working to its full capacity letters merely appear as meaningless shapes. This happens with dyslexics.
How mnemonics can help a child with dyslexia
Mnemonics is a rather unfortunate word to have to remember in itself. It comes from the Greek meaning “of the memory” and it’s a phrase which uses the letters in a word to help recall information such as the spelling, attributes or orders.
Here we look a why mnemonics are such a powerful tool for helping children with dyslexia learn.