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Tag Archives | Dyslexia

Reading with Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects the way that children see letters and numbers on paper.  They see all the letters and numbers, but they see them out of order and jumbled.  Many people with dyslexia describe it by saying that the letters seem to float around the page.  Because reading requires that a child sound out letters in order, children with dyslexia have a difficult time learning to read.  If your child struggles with dyslexia, here are some strategies that may help.

Point to Beginning Letters

As your child reads, have them point to the first letter of each word they come to.  Be patient as they practice this skill.  It may seem simple to you, but remember if the letters are out of order in their minds, it will be difficult for them to repeatedly identify which letter comes first.  Pointing to the first letter of each word will help them remember to start sounding out the word with that letter.  That in turn will help them sound out the word correctly.

Highlight Each Line

It can also help for children to be able to focus on only one line of writing while reading.  You can do this in several ways.  One simple way to do this is to hold a bookmark under the line they are reading.  Their eyes can then follow the edge of the bookmark so that they don’t get lost in the page.  You can also purchase a reading guide strip for them to use.  The guide strip has a colored strip in the middle that fits over one line of printing.  The child reads only what is in the colored area and then moves it down to the next line when they are ready to continue.

Experiment with Colors

As weird as it may seem, experimenting with various colors of both backgrounds and texts can benefit children with dyslexia.  You can change both the background and text colors within reading programs on computers and tablets.  You can also buy tinted plastic reading sheets that change the color of a printed page.  It is different for each child, but you may find that a certain combination of colors gives your child an easier time reading.  Play around with different combinations and see what works.

Dyslexia affects each child differently, and it does make reading challenging.  Not every strategy will work for your child, but you can help them learn to read efficiently.  What other strategies do you use to help your dyslexic child read?

Photo by:  Lori Greig

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4 Reading Tips for Students from a Real Author

Rick Riordan, author of novels about Percy Jackson, an ADHD and dyslexic character and father to an ADHD and dyslexic son, has a lot of experience working with students with learning disabilities.

reading

Rick has turned his story into a five-book series. From all that he has learned from his writings and his experiences with his own son who deals with learning disabilities, Rick has come up with four important tips about helping students with learning disabilities with reading.

Model reading at home

Since children look up to their parents in many things they do, it is important that they set a good example about reading while they are in their homes. If parents can set aside a time where they dedicate to reading, either to their children, or with their children, kids will see that reading is an important thing to do and can be fun, especially with the whole family. It can also be the starting point for great discussions or talks.

Match your children with the right books

Each child has their own set of interests and hobbies. It is important to let them pick and choose the types of reading material they want to read. By taking note on what they are interested in, you can discover new reading material that will keep your kids engaged and interested in reading.

Create a productive environment for reading

While children are reading, they should be focused on the task at hand. Many children with ADHD and other learning disabilities can focus better when there are fewer distractions, but a simple object, like a stress ball or eraser. It is also important to help them find a comfortable spot, like on a sofa or in the backyard where they can enjoy the area around them.

Most importantly, keep the long view

Having learning disabilities may bring up some obstacles, but should not shut down any dreams or goals for students with them. There are so many examples of very successful people with ADHD and dyslexia, among other disabilities. Staying focused and continuing reading can help these students learn and grow!

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Electronic Spellers & Dictionaries for Special Education

When I was growing up in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, I remember having an electronic speller and dictionary.  This tool was very useful in assisting me to learn to spell.  It allowed me to spell a word, and then it would help to correct my spelling and provide me with definitions.

Today’s spellers and dictionaries are much more sophisticated than those early models.  They can speak, give handwriting directions, find rhymes, create vocabulary lists, play spelling games, and determine homonyms.  The spellers are reasonably priced, and a shared set for the classroom is affordable under today’s budget restraints.  This can be a great tool in your classroom for students who have difficulty pronouncing or spelling words.  It is more user-friendly than having the student use a paper dictionary because of its speed and can provide the proper spelling for the student even when they initially misspell it.  I am sure most of us have been frustrated when told to use the dictionary to find a word that we did not know how to spell and had to page through the book guessing at letters!

Electronic Spellers & Dyslexia

For a student with dyslexia, this tool can assist them to become more proficient in spelling, reading, and pronouncing words.  Typically, when a student is diagnosed with dyslexia, the student is given assistance on building their reading skills, and once the student can read, they are promoted out of the special education program.  Unfortunately, writing and spelling may not be addressed.  This is another area where students with dyslexia struggle.  Having an electronic speller can assist them in expressing their ideas on paper and to become more proficient with writing.

Leap Frog Turbo Twist & Spell

Leap Frog makes an electronic speller called Turbo Twist and Spell.  This educational toy raps songs to learn spelling rules and allows children to spell words to a musical beat.  Separate cartridges are sold for different grade levels and the programs adapt to the child’s ability and then challenges the student to increase their level.  There are also games to spell words or to find the missing letters and other downloadable games available from their website.  One of the best features of the Turbo Twist and Spell is that it gives the students hints, positive reinforcement, and encourages them to play and learn.

Electronic spellers and dictionaries can aid students in learning how to spell, learning meanings of words, and learning to express themselves through writing.

Article by Laura Ketcham

Photo from LeapFrog.com

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