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Dyslexia exists and can be diagnosed very early. As parents, you know your children best and are often the first ones to notice that your child has a learning difficulty.
Click here to understand more about dyslexia.
Early identification and Early intervention is vital. Children with dyslexia are often unable to reach their full potential due to their learning differences and may be frustrated with learning. Early identification and intervention can enhance his learning experiences. For a parent, nothing can be more satisfying than seeing your child beam with confidence. Help your child develop a more positive learning experience and boost his self-esteem.
Parents, you play an important role and your child will thank you for it, we thank you too!
Dyslexia can only be formally diagnosed through an assessment by an educational or specialist psychologist. If your child shows some of these signs & symptoms, please send your child for an assessment. To find out more about psycho-educational assessments at DAS, please click here.
(1) PRACTISE PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS SKILLS
Most learners with dyslexia suffer from a phonological deficit and phonological awareness influences the ease with which they develop reading and spelling skills. An important first step in improving phonological awareness is rhyme awareness. So, encourage a pre-schooler to sing nursery rhymes and play rhyme games. For slightly older learners, work on smaller units of sounds such as syllables, or single sounds (also known as phonemes)
Rhyme games can take place anytime and anywhere, just ask them to tell you which two of the three words you’ve said are rhymes. Or create a rhyme book – simply cut out pictures from old, discarded books and ask the child to locate a rhyming picture, for instance a picture of the sun could go with a picture of someone running. Don’t forget to ask them what the word is.
For older children, ask them what the first sound in a word is, ask them to tell you several other words that have the same first sound. This can be played as a game where you take turns coming up with words that have the same starting sound. You can also make them come up with funny phrases that have words that all begin with the same first sound (also known as alliteration)
(2) HEAR, SEE, SPEAK AND READ WORDS
Most often, we encourage parents to engage their children in reading activities. Even if a child is too young to read, the act of reading to the child has many benefits. The development of listening and oral vocabulary is an important precursor to the development of reading and writing vocabulary. It’s important that parents point to the words as they read so that children can begin to form more concrete associations between the print and the sounds they hear.
Having discussions about what they’ve read is a strategy used to enhance comprehension skills and oracy skills, so read a book that is of interest to the child and ask questions.
Ask the child to retell the story to his/her siblings or grandparents. Or continue the story in his/her own way. Place a series of pictures with some key words and ask the child to form a story around the picture, using the key word. Organise storytelling activities as part of family get-togethers. These are fun ways parents can support their learners in their literacy development.
(3) MAKE LEARNING ACTIVITIES MULTISENSORY
Parents can also aim to engage their children through all their senses. Make learning literacy a multisensory experience. It is said that we retain only ten percent of what we hear and that figure grows every time you include other senses, and you have the potential to retain up to ninety percent of what you hear, see, say and do.
If the child is ready for letter formation, parents can go beyond the pencil and paper methods and use a variety of materials like play dough, whip cream, sparkles, sand and pipe cleaners to encourage them to form letters. When explaining something, like the meaning of a word, verbally model an example, show them what it means through visuals and illustrations and stick these images up on the walls or the fridge while asking the child to produce more examples with you.
(4) CELEBRATE SUCCESSES
Children with dyslexia may often be confused and suffer from low self-esteem as a result of difficulties they encounter in school. As such, parents’ understanding and support are crucial to raising their confidence in their learning ability. Working together to create expectations on what they can achieve in tests, or a specific task like reading, would demonstrate to the children that their parents are partnering them in this learning journey. Recognising achievements, no matter how small they may seem, recognises effort. After all, a journey of a thousand miles begins with and consists of many single steps.
(5) BE THE CHILD’S CHAMPION
As the children may be too young to represent themselves and seek out the appropriate guidance, parents can support them by advocating for their needs. Many people and professionals are involved in the support of a child, so parents may engage as many of them as possible to work together with them to enable their children towards success.
(6) EMBRACE DYSLEXIA COMPLETELY
I highly recommend that parents are fully aware of what dyslexia truly is. Being the parent of a child with dyslexia need not be a lonely experience as they can get connected to a parent network for support and to stay current with news and developments about dyslexia. Parents may also explain to their children about what dyslexia is in ways that they can understand and assure them that they are have as much potential as other children and they are loved. When defining dyslexia, parents must not overlook the strengths it offers.
A 2004 British study reported that 20% of entrepreneurs are likely to have dyslexia and in a more recent study from the US, the figures have risen to 35%. Clearly there are dyslexic advantages, so parents can work towards identifying these in their children and boosting these skills in appropriate ways. Parents can share success stories with their children, describing how many individuals with dyslexia had similar struggles and have worked hard to achieve great success in their fields.
Tips provided by
Geetha Shantha Ram
Director, MOE-aided DAS Literacy Programme
Click here to learn more about Geetha
The DAS-Parent Support Group (PSG) was formed to provide support for parents of the students at DAS. It aims to organise inspirational sharing sessions by successful dyslexics,fun-filled activities just for DAS Students, their parents and even for the whole family. Be part of the PSG.
As a PSG member you are more likely to be an informed and involved parent. You will also be building rapport with educators and supporting DAS's initiatives.
We understand that parenting a child with learning differences is challenging. The PSG provides a platform for you to share ideas, concerns and experiences with other parents.
Gain valuable experiences and grasp new opportunities, to support your child more effectively.
Provide DAS with feedback to make positive recommendations for change in our organisation.
By becoming a PSG member, you will demonstrate the importance you place on education and enhance your bond with your child.
PSG organized meetings/events are made known via our monthly Newsletters , PSG Facebook and emails to parents.
If you would like to join the PSG, please email to email@example.com
Visit the PSG Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/dasparent
Parents can upgrade themselves to better support their child. Read on to learn more!
REGISTER OF EDUCATIONAL THERAPISTS (ASIA)RETA is the Register of Educational Therapists (Asia). It is an initiative by the Dyslexia Association of Singapore, and is advised by a panel of three distinguished members - Dr Thomas Sim, Professor Angela Fawcett, and Dr Kate Saunders.
RETA was formed to try and connect practitioners in the field of Specific Learning Differences and Education, while recognising their professional status and endorsing their qualifications at the same time.
Join RETA and make a difference in the the lives of children with Specific Learning Difference. Click here to visit the RETA website.