How can I help my dyslexic child or pupil?
Continuing our last post about dyslexia, for both parents and teachers it can be quite a relief to have an explanation for their child or pupils’s difficulties. But what next?
One of the most important things to realise about dyslexia is that it is a very individual problem and thus each dyslexic child’s difficulties should be dealt with at an individual level.
Dyslexia is not a disease and therefore it cannot be cured or treated. However, it is possible to help a dyslexic child learn to cope and eventually overcome their difficulties.
Dyslexia Action – an action group dedicated to supporting people with dyslexia – believes the best way to help a dyslexic individual of any age is through multi-sensory specialist tuition, with a specialist teacher. This sort of teaching is designed to use the individual’s strengths to help with their weaknesses.
Further tips for parents
- Try not to get frustrated with your child. Many dyslexic children will spell a word correctly and then later not be able to spell the same word. This often makes the child appear lazy but often their difficulties cause these sorts of spelling phenomena.
- Emphasis on literacy skills tends to overshadow other talents and abilities that a dyslexic child may have. Dyslexic people are often creative, original, lateral thinkers. They devise their own, often highly successful, if rather unusual route to problem- solving. Because they have to try so hard to succeed, many dyslexic people develop qualities of determination and attention to detail which are valuable in later life. Try to be as encouraging as possible and focus on your child’s strengths. This can help to build a dyslexic child’s confidence.
- Many parents worry that they are being over-anxious or are perhaps looking for an excuse for their child’s slow progress. Trust your instincts. If your child seems very bright but is showing signs of a learning difficulty, arrange to have your child assessed. If your child is not dyslexic at least you will have ruled this out.
- Some parents feel that they do not want to give their child a label. Dyslexia is not a label; it is a word that describes why a child is having difficulties.
- It is very upsetting and frustrating for a parent to watch their child struggle and many feel that they failed as a parent in some way. Dyslexia is no one’s fault and with the correct help, many of the problems which it can bring can be alleviated.