Dyslexia is a life long condition; it is estimated to affect some 10% of the Australian population. Dyslexia is also known as ‘Reading Disorder’ or ‘Reading Disability’ and often referred as ‘difficulty in reading’. Dyslexia can also affect writing, spelling and even speaking. Children with dyslexia need more time to work through the information and understand complex ideas. Their brain mixes up letters and words, making it difficult to read, write, and spell.
The cause of dyslexia is unknown. Doctors can diagnose dyslexia by testing and talking with your child. They may look for symptoms such as confusing small words or letters and their sounds. Treatments include setting up specialized learning plan; called IEPs for your child to give him or her more focused help in learning.
Tips for the Parents
Act as liaison between school and child, adding the positive dimension for both. Develop an on-going communication system between home and school e.g. school home diary.
Encourage your child to read aloud and read to your child often.
These Children need a different way to process the information, such as listening to an audiobook instead of reading it. So buy some audio books.
Incorporate technology for efficient and effective learning such as interactive reading programs on the computer.
Allow your child to monitor and self correct his reading. Do not “help” too quickly. Give your child some time to think.
Keep interesting, age appropriate books and magazines in your child’s room.
Consistently support your child and give him clear instructions. Assistance in planning and managing time is important.
Simplify complicated tasks by breaking it down into small, manageable chunks.
Colour code your child’s items for example put Math work in red colour box with red tape, English in green colour and artwork in a yellow box.
Using light colour paper- light cream or off-white colour paper is better than using white paper.
Give your child lots of positive feedback and encouragement. Identify and praise strengths and accomplishments.
Don’t worry too much as your child can still be successful. There’s a long list of famous people with dyslexia some of them are scientist Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison, famous artist Pablo Picasso, scientist and engineer Alexander Graham Bell, Walt Disney and many more.
By Rekha Rajvanshi : (Rekha Rajvanshi has a Masters of Psychology and Master’s of Philosophy in Education. She also studied Special Education at Macquarie University and works as a learning and Support teacher. She supports students with disabilities on a regular basis.)