How can I best help my dyslexic child?
Experts agree that best practice for teaching dyslexic learners is to teach them via all their senses (multisensory teaching). This means using visuals, motions, body movement, hands-on, and auditory elements in their learning. Studies have shown that dyslexic children draw from various regions in their brains while engaging in reading, so it stands to reason that using teaching approaches that stimulate various regions in the brain would ensure success for these learners.
- Incorporate visual elements in learning
- Involve body movement in learning
- Use a multisensory teaching approach to reading (used all at one time)
- Focus on teaching phonemic awareness and manipulation
- Summarize and give the big picture first - then start with the details
- Utilize visuals in books and prompt the child to visualize in his mind as he reads
- Read outloud in order to utilize the auditory pathway to the brain
- Use an explicit, systematic approach to teaching reading to be sure that everything is taught that needs to be
“Children with dyslexia have a difficult time learning to read and write in a typical classroom setting. Most teachers often gear their lessons to students with auditory learning styles. The teacher relies mostly on talking to teach. Teachers lecture, explain and answer questions orally. The dyslexic learner cannot process this information using only his auditory modality. For this reason, dyslexic learners need to learn using an approach that simultaneously combines auditory, visual, and tactile learning strategies to teach skills and concepts.
Another reason that dyslexics struggle with the regular classroom reading programs is that the dyslexic child tends to have difficulties applying and using phonetic rules to decode words. In order for the dyslexic child to become a good reader he/she will need to first learn decoding and word recognition skills and then develop fluency and comprehension skills. That is why early intervention is so important. Phonemic awareness is a learned skill; it is not something that comes naturally to a child. The National Reading Panel found that children who are taught phonics systematically and also explicitly make greater progress in reading than those who are taught with any other type of reading instructions."
~ Karina Richmond, MA