Strategies to Help Your Dyslexic Child

Claire Walley
January 16, 2024

Dyslexia is a learning differences that influences how children read and write. It does not only affect reading and writing skills. Dyslexia is actually about information processing. Dyslexic people may have difficulty in processing and remembering information they see and hear which can affect learning. It can also have an impact on organisational skills. We must remember that there are positives to thinking differently. Many dyslexic people show strengths in areas such as reasoning in visual and creative fields.

As a parent or teacher of a child with dyslexia you can sometimes feel lost. Not knowing how to assist you child/student when they are struggling. It is hard to comprehend what the learning experience is like through the eyes of someone with dyslexia when you have not experienced it yourself.

However, there are numerous, straightforward strategies you can adopt to make dreaded homework easier or support a struggling dyslexic in your class. To help you, help them we have put together a simple table of strategies, based on each area of challenge a dyslexic child may have. Try to slot them into your day to day lives, not just at homework time and see what a huge impact they can have!

Look at our top tips below:

The child has auditory processing issues.

→ Speak slowly and break down important information into small, manageable chunks – for example “Turn to page 35…look at the diagram…then discuss it with your partner”.

→ Give instructions in the order they should be done – “First, draw a diagram of what you think will happen. Then, mix the liquids together”

The child struggles with processing auditory information quickly.

→ Encourage the child to summarise what you have said to her; to confirm her understanding.

→ Repeat instructions if the child has not fully processed the information.

The child may misread similar words and struggles with transposing from the board.

→Check that the child is still attending to spoken information and has not ‘lost the thread’.

→The child may use a coloured overlay to reduce visual stress.

→Check that she is reading material accurately and not misreading words that they know.

→ Limit the amount of material that the child is expected to copy from the board.

The child may struggle to processing instructions as quickly as other students.

→ Give instructions simply and clearly.

→ Make sure the is looking at you before you give an instruction.

→ Encourage her to ask if she has forgotten what they need to do.

→ Breakdown tasks into small steps and instructions. Encourage them to repeat back to check that she/he has understood.

→ Provide work banks, mind maps, wall charts and personalised dictionaries as memory aids.

The child struggles with recalling complex subject specific vocabulary.

→ Create visual summaries of discussions as you go – mind mapping, flow charts, diagrams, comic strip format.

The child lacks confidence with reading out loud but can do it with support.

→ Give the child the text prior to the time when you would like them to read out loud so they can practice. Allow them to read out loud with headphones in their ears. Do not pressure them to read if they look anxious.

The child struggles to read black text on a white background.

→ Use a cream paper for all the child’s documents.

The child struggles to read and recall new information

→ Allow the child to take notes and draw when the teacher is speaking. These notations will help jog her memory.

The SEN Expert offers a range of services for young people, families and schools. We offer support for parents to help navigate the complex world of Special Educational Needs. We will work with you closely to ensure the best for your child.

The SEN Expert was set up by Claire in 2021 following a successful career spanning 12 years in school improvement, special educational needs, safeguarding and the arts.

Claire has worked as a Deputy Headteacher, Assistant Headteacher, Consultant and SENCO in both state and private schools in inner city London, the Southwest, the Midlands and the USA.

Throughout her career, Claire has ensured solid outcomes for the young people she has worked with. Be that a set of good exam grades, a placement in specialist setting or getting a part time job.

Claire is a working mother, and understands the challenges parents face trying to ensure their children are happy and successful. We aim to provide young people with a creative route to the personal and professional adult life they deserve.

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We offer support for families, children, and schools to navigate the complex world of SEN.

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