How Do I Help My Child Who Is Struggling…

By Siti Mariam, Associate Lecturer, DAS Academy

Students, both with learning difficulties and without, who have yet to develop automaticity and fluency in reading are likely to struggle with reading comprehension. This is especially so for students with dyslexia. These students have difficulty focusing on the meaning of a text when most or all their mental energies are directed at sounding out the words in the text. Besides that, students with learning difficulties may struggle to hold the information that they have just read, long enough in their memory in order to act on it.

One way to help these students remember what they have just read is by getting them to create mental images in their mind as the text is read. This helps to clarify the text in order to aid understanding as well as promote active engagement with the text. Visualization is in fact, one of the strategies shared in the DAS Academy’s ‘Developing Comprehension Skills’ workshop, and is a technique that has been found to improve reading comprehension. Keen to find out more? Sign up for the ‘Developing Comprehension Skills’ workshop to explore other strategies to help your child/student with their reading comprehension.

Not understanding the concept of regrouping? Forgetting to add the ‘0’ when doing long multiplication? Long division a nightmare? Do all these scenarios sound familiar to you? How can you help your child/student comprehend why regrouping is necessary? How can you ease the long multiplication process for your child/student? How can you help them remember the steps to the long division? The ‘Supporting Your Child in Mathematics’ workshop by the DAS Academy will give you an insight on why students with learning difficulties struggle to understand certain mathematical concepts as well as equip you with alternative strategies to help students with the four basic operations.

Spelling can be difficult for some, but it is particularly a challenge for students with learning differences, especially those with dyslexia. In spite of being capable in other areas, and having the same amount, if not more, of classroom instruction as their peers, students with dyslexia still have trouble remembering the letters in words due to their inability to analyse and remember individual sounds that represent them. Not only that, considering that words can sound alike but spelt differently, these students also have difficulty picking the right letters to spell such words. Through the ‘Understanding Phonics Instruction’ workshop and the ‘Coping with Spelling’ workshop, participants will pick up strategies to help these students with letter-sound correspondence as well as rules to guide them in their spelling. For example, recognizing that the letters [dge] make the /j/ sound and that the word ‘badge’ should be spelt as such and not ‘baj’, due to the spelling rule for the letter [j].