If you are a parent who just found out that your child has dyslexia or a new /experienced teacher who has just gotten to know that your student is dyslexic, you might be feeling very stressed and do not know what to do. Other than knowing how to help the child in terms of content, it is important to keep your emotions in check.
From my years of working with children on the DAS Main Literacy Programme and supporting their parents, here are 5 different things to know and remember when you are teaching a child with dyslexia.
1. YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE FEELING STRESSED!
The child is probably going to feel stressed too. It is not that the child is lazy even though laziness might be a factor. Most of the time, the child is aware that he or she does not read, spell or write well.
- Be positive and let the child know that you are aware of how he or she feels.
- Be encouraging and turn negative statements into positive ones.
2. FOCUS ON THEIR STRENGTHS INSTEAD OF THEIR WEAKNESSES
So what if they may not read, spell, or write well? There are so many other things that the child might be good at. Some of my students can name so many dinosaurs, and sea animals that I did not even know existed! Others can draw very well and when I ask them to draw the meanings of the word or phrases they have just learnt, they can even draw a whole bunch of comics that are extremely creative.
3. BE PATIENT!
Do you remember how you learnt to ride a bicycle, learnt how to swim or play an instrument? It must have taken many practice sessions and multiple tries before you were able to succeed. It must have been very frustrating for you at that time and likewise for your child. Be patient and repeat as many times as the child needs. Review a concept by using games or reteach by using a different method.
4. DON’T ASSUME
Try not to assume that the child should know something by now because learners with dyslexia learn differently from children without dyslexia. Children with dyslexia need more time to learn how to read and spell because they have trouble decoding words. Therefore, it will be good to go back to the basics like how to decode a word before reading a whole passage, or remember simple parts of speech before doing Synthesis and Transformation exercises.
5. BELIEVE IN YOUR CHILD!
Do not give up on the child. Some children might be feeling stressed and that might translate into having test anxiety and even having low self-esteem. It might be difficult for the child to believe in himself. However, when one adult that they trust believes in him or her, it might change his or her whole around and make them more confident in the long run to become successful adults that we aspire them to be.
This article was published in FACETS Vol 3. 2018
To read the full article click here
An article written by
Rosalyn Wee, Curriculum Specialist & Senior Educational Therapist,
DAS English Language & Literacy Division, Bishan Learning Centre