Dyslexia is a term for a lifelong condition that involves difficulty in reading, including interpreting words and other symbols. Although it is not clear how common dyslexia is, experts assume it is around 10 percent and rising as testing gets better. Dyslexia may cause difficulty for kids learning the following skills:
- Reading comprehension
People commonly believe dyslexia is a visual issue where kids reverse letters, words, and numbers. Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability, (not a visual disability?)
It’s important to know that while dyslexia impacts learning, it’s not a problem of intelligence. In fact, some experts believe adults with dyslexia are more adaptable to problem solving and overcoming challenges -- traits that will lead to successful careers.
Your child won’t outgrow dyslexia but there are many products, tools and teaching approaches and strategies to help them overcome challenges and gain confidence.
Provide a variety of materials to help your child learn through different styles: for visual learners, let them see letters and words coming together; for auditory learners, help them hear the sounds letters make; and for tactile learners, give them tools to help them feel and build letters, words, and sentences. Below you will find suggested materials that can help support children with dyslexia and improve their reading and writing skills.
Children with dyslexia benefit from materials that allow them to develop phonemic awareness — like this whisper phone. Whisper phones give kids the ability to hear, recognize, and isolate the individual sounds or phonemes in words. A solid foundation in phonemic awareness will later allow children to connect the sounds of our language to letters and letter combinations—and to blend those sounds into words. Kids using this whisper phone have shown massive improvements after reading aloud to themselves through the phone.
Using a multisensory approach to building word recognition and decoding skills can benefit children with dyslexia. The Eye Lighter highlights multiple lines of text or underlines a single sentence to improve reading skills and reading fluency. Use it to help with speed reading, reading focus, or as a tool in different reading strategies aimed at improving overall reading skills such as reading fluency. It is helpful to encourage children to focus on one letter, letter combination, or line of text at a time. The highlighters help with this practice.
Children with dyslexia may have improved comprehension when receiving information both visually and auditorily. It is also helpful to put children in different environments when they read to help them block out sensory distractions. Provide opportunities for children to listen to and follow along with audiobooks. Record them reading and have them listen to the recording. Make sure to highlight important sentences in texts and even visually map out main ideas and key events from a text. Talk about the story as you are reading together so it is easier for them to follow along.
While children with dyslexia may have difficulty with symbolic representations, such as letters and words, they often excel when shown visual representations. Provide tools that incorporate picture clues. These visuals help children graphically organize the ideas from a book they are reading and help them organize their own ideas before starting a writing project. Getting them excited about the topic can be one of the most successful tools! It is also helpful to use manipulatives or fidget toys while reading to help them focus.