Approaches to promoting learning and development in learners with Dyslexia
By Julia Hewerdine
Here are some simple techniques that been tried and tested on my children:
- Join in with their interests as doing something we are good at always boosts confidence.
- Joining your child in what they like doing will promote opportunities for a positive learning experience to share together.
- Understand that learners with dyslexia have to work harder that everyone else.
- Sympathising with your child that it can take effort and be tiring to learn.
- Homework, reading and other tasks may indeed take them longer to complete than their peers.
- Let them know you understand.
- Play plenty of games on car journeys or at home – unplugging technology for a while.
- Be a scribe by jotting down their ideas and helping them shape and plan essays.
- Use text-to- speech using this technology can allow older learners to independently get their ideas into a laptop.
- Use a whiteboard as they can be used for spellings, facts or anything else, using different coloured pens. Information on them can be kept, adapted, wiped out. Easy editing means that practising any writing/spelling can be less stressful. Your child can find the colours and spaces that work best for them.
- Watch films together and talk about the film afterwards. This provides great ways of extending the ability to construct plots as well broaden their vocabulary
- Read together as no one is too old to listen to a story! I still love listening to audio books. Listening to books promotes the enjoyment of literature as well as exposure to different genres and new vocabulary. E-readers can provide supported reading opportunities as they have dictionaries as well as adaptable fonts and brightness.
- Seek support: Your child’s school will have a Special Needs Coordinator who will be able to tell you what support is available within the school. They will be able to let you know if any exam arrangements are needed: extra time, a reader, word, processor etc. Keep in touch with the school and try to get homework done with the least amount of stress.
- Keep an open mind your child might learn in a very different way from you or their siblings. Some might want to use mindmaps and spidergrams with lots of colour and pictures to learn, some need to watch a film to understand a topic, others listen to a podcast to understand a new idea, some want revision card and quizzes etc. Try lots of different methods together.
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