WHAT TO DO If You Think Your Child is Dyslexic
- See your pediatrician or internist and ophthalmologist to eliminate any physical explanation.
- Discuss your concerns with your child's teacher, and/or talk to the school's Dyslexia Designee to request screening for dyslexia.
- If the screening is positive, a program of remedial instruction should be implemented based on the following concepts:
- A simultaneous, direct, multi-sensory approach that uses visual, auditory and kinesthetic/tactile methods.
- A high level of structure in everything.
- A phonetically based program of reading and spelling which teaches the complete sound structure of the language.
- A great deal of repetition and drill in both individual and group instruction.
- For information about available programs in your school district for dyslexia remediation, contact their Dyslexia Coordinator.
- For statewide information call the State Dyslexia Consultant, at Region X, Educational Service Center 1-800-232-3030.
Individuals with dyslexia need special programs to learn to read, write, and spell. Traditional educational programs are not always effective.
Program Content: Dyslexics require a structured language program. Direct instruction in the code of written language (the letter-sound system) is critical. This code must be taught bit by bit, in a sequential, cumulative way. There must be systematic teaching of the rules governing written language. This approach is called structured, or systematic
Program Delivery: Dyslexics require multisensory delivery of language content. Instruction that is multisensory employs all pathways of learning at the same time - seeing, hearing, touching, writing, and speaking. Such delivery requires a teacher or therapist who is specifically trained in a program
which research has documented to be effective for dyslexic
Suggestions for Parents of Dyslexic Children
Acknowledge child's difficulty
- Read books on the subject together
- Discuss concerns openly
- Maintain perspective that learning is different and difficult, but often delightful
- Expect your child's best without setting standards and goals beyond his/her ability to achieve
- Know that it is alright to have questions and problems about your child's difference in learning
Accept your child for what he/she is, and not for what you feel he/she should be
- Relieve stress in weak areas
- Guard against negative remarks, especially those referring to laziness or lack of effort
- Avoid threats of punishment for such things as low grades, their need for repetition of directions, ineptness at simple tasks, etc.
- Set standards, goals and expectations of achievement within reach of your child's abilities
Help your child's self worth
- Praise whenever it is deserved
- Plan activities and tasks which child can master
- Respect your child
- Treat your child's questions, concerns, and efforts seriously
Accentuate your child's abilities
- Help child locate and pursue talents in music, arts, sports, mechanics, etc.
- Encourage hobbies and unique interests
- Initiate varied experiences (museums, historical places, etc.) to introduce child to new avenues of development
- Provide opportunities for "hands-on" learning
- Allow and encourage originality and creativity
- Read aloud to your child for information, literary appreciation, and recreation
Provide some structure at home
- Agree on regular routine for meals, homework, recreation, chores, bedtime, etc.
- Help organize belongings so they are easy to use and put back in place
- Give instructions in small, clear steps
- Foster good work habits in home, school and community
Help with school work
- Agree on schedule
- Allow frequent breaks
- Provide comfortable place with minimal distractions
- Read assignments to child
- Help plan and schedule long assignments
- Exhibit genuine interest by discussing work
- Act as child's secretary by writing assignments as he/she dictates
- Record, in advance, lengthy textbook reading assignments
- Place good books, magazines, encyclopedias, and other resources in conspicuous, easily accessible places in your home
Support and enhance school efforts to help child
- Explain child's difficulty to teachers
- Request modifications in work to reduce need for written assignments
- Ask permission to write assignments as your child dictates
- Ask permission to use tape recorders when feasible
- Ask teacher to call on your child to read aloud only when he/she volunteers
- Act as liaison between school and child, adding the positive dimension for both
Involve yourself in the community
- Promote study groups on learning problems.
- Be available as resource person.
- Guide PTA toward awareness.
- Initiate a parent support group for sharing information and encouragement.
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Last update: 12/14/2005