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10 Tips for Helping a Child Who is Dyslexic

12th November 2014

Is your child struggling in a mainstream school setting? Perhaps they’re finding it difficult to read books, spell words and write in sentences, which in turn is making them anxious about keeping up with all the other children in the class? If this sounds familiar to you, then there is a possibility that your child could have dyslexia. But before you start to panic and worry, dyslexia has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence and compared to a few years ago, we now know a lot more about it and how it affects people lives.

What are the common signs of dyslexia?

The main symptom of dyslexia is experiencing difficulty processing the information when they look at words on a page. The most common signs include:

Problems with pronunciation

Difficulty with learning basics such as; colours, numbers, alphabet letters.
A late talker
Confusion between the letters “b” and “d”
Poor handwriting
Difficulty following directions and knowing left from right.

What can I do to help?

If you recognise any of these signs in your child, or if your child has already been tested and diagnosed with dyslexia, there are many things you can do as a parent, to help support your child.

Paired reading

Shared reading proves to a child that reading can be enjoyable. Reading with someone else suddenly turns it into an experience and is known to improve a child’s reading ability and interest in reading.

Choose the right time and place

If paired reading is to be effective and help improve your child’s reading ability, then you need to make time for this, everyday. This may sound a lot, but it only needs to be for ten minutes, if you’re strapped for time. If you really don’t have the time to fit this in daily, then older brothers and sisters or grandparents can also be your child’s paired reader.

Move away from other people and any noise, as this is a huge distraction to children. Turn any TVs, radios or games off and sit comfortably to settle down and share a book together!

Day trips out

Day trips out can be just as (if not more) educational for dyslexia sufferers. This doesn’t have to be anything expensive, something as simple as a walk out in the countryside or a visit to family members can be just as good. Visiting grandparents can be hugely beneficial, as they tend to have the time and patience that children need. So if you do visit them, take some books along with you too!

Getting it right

It’s important to know when the right time to praise your child is. Look out for them attempting to read hard or long words, correcting themselves when they have said a word wrong and getting every word in a sentence correct.

Getting it wrong

If your child gets a word wrong, don’t just watch them continue to struggle. Encourage them to break up the word into more manageable chunks and to try sounding it out. If they continue to struggle then tell them how to say it and get them to repeat after you.

Encourage discussion

Don’t just read the words off the page. There is more chance of your child becoming bored and losing interest. Spark discussion about the pictures on the pages and what’s happening, what your child thinks might happen, who his favourite characters are etc.

Encourage activities

It’s crucial to build up your child’s confidence by encouraging them to do activities they are good at and enjoy. This could be sports, crafts or anything else non-academic.

Do your research

Keep up-to-date with the happenings of dyslexia by becoming a member of the Dyslexia Association.

Play with your child

Make sure you take the time to play with your child. Whether it’s a board game like Monopoly, observation game such as I Spy, or physical game like catch or football. Your child will learn enormous amounts simply by interacting and being around you. Remember; you are your child’s biggest role model.

Visit your GP

If you suspect, or know that your child has dyslexia, visiting the doctor can help with referrals to learning specialists, educational psychologists or speech therapists, depending on your child’s needs. This way, you can rest assured knowing you are seeking out the best help and advice for your child.

Tiny World

Here at Tiny World, we take the time to understand each and every child’s individual needs and make sure we can give them the attention and patience they need, to feel happy and relaxed when in our care. For more information about our nurseries throughout Nottingham and Mansfield, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today.