How to help your child with dyslexia
Okay, let’s start by defining dyslexia in simple terms, so we all have a better understanding of what this disorder really is. Basically, dyslexia isn’t one disorder, it’s a term used to describe a group of disorders all of which involve a child who finds it hard to read words, letters and symbols and coherently interpret them.
Now let’s add some genuine reassurance. Dyslexia doesn’t affect your child’s ability to be a normal child in every other way, be it physically or mentally. Your pride and joy will still run around causing the same trials and tribulations as any other child. They will still have the same fundamental ability to do well in class; they’ll be equally capable of excelling on the sports field, and dyslexia will in no way stop them communicating with other kids or communicating with you.
Dyslexia is a problem with the written word, not the spoken word.
That said, dyslexia will affect your child’s ability to learn and will become a source of frustration at times.
Can dyslexia be cured?
Not yet. Dyslexia remains one of those brain-related conditions that scientists and medical specialists have yet to conquer. As such, there is no known way to beat it and anyone currently suffering from dyslexia, be they 5 or 75, will have reading issues unlikely to be fixed very soon.
That said, your 5-year-old is in a far better position now as techniques spring up and evolve to help with dyslexia.
And let’s not forget, there are some hugely successful dyslexic people out there. Albert Einstein was dyslexic.
Richard Branson has dyslexia, yet he’s become one of the most wealthy and famous people in the world. Walt Disney created a world we’ll have forever with it. And Leonardo Di Vinci obviously didn’t let dyslexia get in the way when he painted his masterpieces.
In other words, your child can excel with dyslexia. That said, there are ways you can minimise the disorder’s influence throughout your child’s life.
How do you treat dyslexia?
Again, dyslexia can’t be cured, but it can be maintained. With some clever educational tricks and techniques, teachers can minimise the obstacles dyslexia places in front of your child’s learning. Your child can learn to:
- Recognise small sounds that make up words
- Comprehend letters and groups of letters as words and the way they sound
- Read out loud to help them build confidence and fluency
- Gradually add to their think tank of known words
Ideally, your child will receive individual tutoring over and above classwork.
What can parents do to help a dyslexic child?
First and foremost, don’t delay; if you think there’s a problem, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. The earlier dyslexia is diagnosed, the more learning success your child is likely to have.
Read to your child out loud and often. Encourage your child to read by setting aside daily reading times where you both tuck into a good book. And just as importantly, be a proactive and supportive parent towards your child’s school. After all, you know your child best. The more you can contribute, the more teachers can do.
Last but not least, become the very support your child needs by gaining a nationally recognised qualification as a teacher’s aide.