I am thrilled, after so many years of searching, to be able to create this resource of what I pray is reliable, practical and useful information for parents of kids with dyslexia – whether you are homeschooling or not! I wrote this post on ‘what every child with dyslexia needs’ to help focus our energy on things that will have the biggest impact on our kids.
Every Child With Dyslexia Needs:
To be taught in the way that they learn. Kids (and adults) with dyslexia have average to above-average intelligence. The reason that they struggle so much in the school setting is not that they lack the intelligence, which is a common misunderstanding or myth about dyslexia. People with dyslexia learn differently. This is true across the curriculum – not only with reading instruction.
Dyslexics benefit from teaching methods that are:
- Multi sensory: using more than one of the 5 senses at the same time. This type of learning taps in to more areas of the brain and makes remembering facts and information much, much easier.
- Utilize connected learning: rather than learning subjects in isolation, people with dyslexia benefit from learning subjects in context and connected to other subjects. An example of this might be studying art, science, music, philosophy and literature in the context of history.
- Top down learning: people with dyslexia are global, big-picture thinkers, therefore getting the big picture first before learning the details helps them to have a place to hang details.
- Discussing material: allowing time to have meaningful, reflective discussions about what they are learning. Multiple choice quizzes and paragraphs are a good way for teachers to assess what a child knows but taking time to toss ideas around first, helps the ideas to become more fully understood.
To understand what dyslexia is. I can’t count the number of adult dyslexics that I’ve talked to who grew up believing that they were stupid because their dyslexia was never addressed. If you’re unsure about telling your child about their own dyslexia.
To understand their own learning preferences. A big part of growing up with dyslexia is learning to become advocates for themselves. This entails knowing what dyslexia is as well as how it affects their own learning. No two dyslexics will be exactly alike in their strengths and weaknesses. When a person with dyslexia understands their own unique learning profile, they can begin to find the accommodations that will most benefit them as they experience more and more challenges at school, college and work. They will also be better able to discuss their needs with teachers, professors and employers.
To have time to pursue their interests and abilities – and not be taken out of sports because their grades aren’t good enough, especially when sports is one of their talents or gifts. My husband was an excellent athlete growing up dyslexic in England. He credits his positive experiences with sports as being the thing that kept him going through a very frustrating and difficult school experience. Where ever a child’s talents lie, be sure to allow time to pursue and improve in those areas. Not only will this build confidence, it may be where their career lies.
Have at least one caring adult to take an interest in them, believe in them and to walk the road of learning about dyslexia – both it’s strengths and weaknesses. Research on successful people with dyslexia has determined that the one most significant factor that impacted their success was the presence of at least one caring adult in their lives. This adult advocated for them and believed in them until they finally were able to do it for themselves. Since you are reading this, there is a strong chance that you may be that person in a child’s life.