Signs of Dyslexia

  • Poor listening skills – appears to not hear verbal requests
  • Messy bedroom
  • Disorganised school bag
  • Tired
  • Not sure what they have to do for homework
  • Younger children – trouble getting dressed (not knowing what to do first)

How to help your child

  • Task chart / ‘to do’ list on wall
  • Pack bag the night before school
  • Encourage child to put things back in their place to avoid ‘losing’ things e.g. P.E. kit
  • Regular bed times / lights out rule
  • Younger children – lay clothes out right way round and in correct order for dressing to help with sequencing
  • Older children – check homework diary everyday
  • Home should be a place your child can relax. Don’t let homework time become stressful – put yourself in their position and try to be as patient as possible
  • Don’t get anxious yourself – your child will pick up on this
  • Speak to class teacher or Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCo) if you feel your child is struggling in class or with homework
  • Always give plenty of praise and tell your child you know how hard they are working
  • Play to their strengths with learning e.g. if they prefer to look at pictures, use computers or DVDs for learning – if they like to listen, use audio books
  • It is very important to build self-esteem and develop confidence – find your child’s strengths and encourage them in activities they enjoy / are good at (e.g. sport, art, music, horse riding, swimming etc.)

Dyslexia can affect other areas

  • Phonological processing – the ability to identify and say individual sounds in words. They may jumble sounds in words e.g. saying ‘hostipal’ for hospital or ‘pasgetti’ for spaghetti
  • Sequencing – knowing what order to do things in. They may confuse months of the year, days of week or have difficulty with today, tomorrow, yesterday
  • Working memory – being able to ‘hold on’ to information e.g. when doing sums in their head
  • Ability to name familiar items quickly e.g. numbers, letters, objects – they may have word finding difficulties or mix up words e.g. say window for door
  • Processing speed (their speed of working/thinking)

A Dyslexic child in school

  • Forgetful, disorganised, muddles times and dates
  • Attention – appears not to listen / daydreams
  • Difficulty following instructions, copying from the board
  • Using ‘work avoidance’ strategies – clowning around
  • Tiredness, due to the amount of concentration and effort needed in school
  • Low self-esteem – may feel they are not as good as their friends at school work
  • Messy handwriting
  • Remembers something one day, but may have forgotten it the next!

Self-Esteem

  • Home should be a place your child can relax. Don’t let homework time become stressful – put yourself in their position and try to be as patient as possible
  • Don’t get anxious yourself – your child will pick up on this
  • Speak to class teacher or Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCo) if you feel your child is struggling in class or with homework
  • Always give plenty of praise and tell your child you know how hard they are working
  • Play to their strengths with learning e.g. If they prefer to look at pictures, use computers or DVDs for learning – if they like to listen, use audio books
  • It is very important to build self-esteem and develop confidence – find your child’s strengths and encourage them in activities they enjoy / are good at (e.g. sport, art, music, horse riding, swimming etc.)

Making Reading Positive

  • Be a positive reading role model
  • Read to your child – discuss the story and characters afterwards
  • Share reading – read the difficult words together
  • Join a library – try a good selection of different books in subjects that interest your child
  • Use audio books when ‘on the go’ e.g. in the car
  • Play word games e.g. matching pairs, memory games and sequencing activities (e.g. cooking dinner, getting ready for bed, “what do we need to do first?”, “What comes next?”)

How Dyslexia affects school work

  • Difficulty with ‘getting started’ (organising thoughts and ideas)
  • Trouble interpreting writing or maths symbols
  • Difficulties with remembering information
  • Delay with performing tasks, output of information (can affect handwriting speed, speaking)
  • Children with SpLD process information differently – it is to do with the way the brain is wired. These differences are not linked to intelligence
  • Difficulty taking in information properly (written or verbal)
  • Processing information – delay between hearing something and understanding or responding to it
  • It may take longer for a child with SpLD to think of an answer to a question, but given the time they can often come up with a very good answer

Dyslexia - Strengths

  • Often very creative and original thinkers
  • Holistic thinkers – can see the bigger picture, can really understand how things work
  • Excellent problem solvers – as they are frequently having to find ways around any difficulties they may have
  • Creative abilities e.g. art, music, design
  • Often good with new technology – so make use of this!

Help with writing

  • Young children – make it fun and multi-sensory!
  • Sand tray, chalk board, chunky crayons or white board and marker pens
  • Make Playdough letters and words
  • Practise activities that use fine motor skills e.g. bead threading, peg boards, cutting and sticking etc.
  • Helping older children – it can still be multi-sensory!
    • Help your child to get ideas down on paper:
    • Bullet points – they can build on these to make them into sentences and paragraphs
    • Timeline – to help with putting ideas into the right order
    • Write ideas on Post-It notes – great for ‘hands-on’ learners and these can be ‘moved around’ to organise ideas
    • Mobile phone – record ideas verbally and write or type up afterwards
    • Assistive technology e.g. ‘read aloud’ or mind mapping software to help with researching information and generating writing
    • Mind maps are a great way of generating ideas and organising information in a visual way
    • These can then be used to organise and structure writing and organise assignment work or projects
    • They can also be created on the computer