How Can I Help My Child?
There are many ways that you, as a parent, can help your child. By doing all of these, you are helping to increase the confidence in your child.
- Read To Your Child
This will allow your child to grow by increasing their vocabulary and listening skills. This will also increase their interest in books.
- Share Reading
Both of you can read the same book at the same time. Discuss what is happening, or what might happen, as you read.
- Silent Reading
Children need an opportunity to read on their own. This will ideally increase their independency and fluency skills.
Reading the same book over and over again may get boring for you as the parent, but repetition helps to enforce understanding and familiarity with the text.
- Make Reading Fun
Reading shouldn’t be seen as punishment! Read books with your child about topics they enjoy, and make sure you are reading in a relaxed, safe, comfortable environment.
- Older Children
Many older children feel more comfortable using technology than a traditional book or pen and paper when they are reading or writing. This could be because computers use visual, and your child is a visual learner. Word processing programs could be helpful for your child, especially if they have things like spell and grammar check. Many web browsers have text-to-speech functionality as well, allowing the computer to read the text as it appears on the screen. Speech recognition software could also be used, allowing what the speaker is saying to be translated into written text. Finally, some interactive software will allow a more engaging way to read and learn for your child than simply reading a textbook. Children with dyslexia often have better verbal skills than they do writing skills, so all of the technology mentioned could be very useful.
Just about all of the advice for children applies to adults, as well. The technology mentioned in the previous section is also available for adults to use. Multisensory approaches may be helpful, too. For example, someone may record a lecture and then listen to it as they read their notes. Another useful tip for adults is to break large tasks down into smaller, more manageable steps. If you need to create a plan or make notes about something, a mind map may be helpful, as opposed to writing a list. A mind map is a diagram that uses keywords and images to create a visual representation, as opposed to writing down many words.
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If you have a job, let your boss know that you have dyslexia. They are legally required to make reasonable adjustments to assist you, such as:
- Providing you with technology, like digital recorders or speech-to-text capabilities
- Allowing you extra time for tasks that you find challenging
- Providing you with information in formats that are easier for you to understand
- Giving instructions verbally, as opposed to writing down the instructions