What is dyslexia?
Learning with dyslexia has nothing to do with a child’s intelligence. Children with dyslexia have problems processing information when looking at words. Many parents feel puzzled when their child does poorly in school, struggles to read and has difficulty mastering even basic skills. Dyslexia signs often include having problems writing, speaking, spelling and doing math. Children with dyslexia may become frustrated, and others may misunderstand them. Today, society knows much more about this condition, and it is easier to identify dyslexia at younger ages. It is estimated that about 7% of children suffer from dyslexia.
Does your kid suffer from dyslexia?
You are the most important person in your kid’s life. They need you to find them some help and to provide them with emotional and positive parenting support. If you suspect your kid suffers from dyslexia, you need to act. Talk to your school about having your child assessed. The testing will evaluate your kid’s intellectual ability, their academic skills, and their information and language processing skills. Your child’s hearing and vision may also be tested. You can also talk to your family doctor who should be able to give you more information about the whole process or refer you to a specialist in the field.
How is dyslexia assessed?
The most important reason for assessing dyslexia is for effective educational treatment not so a label can be applied.
There is no one single test which can identify dyslexia, the assessor must have a strong knowledge of language and reading development, how dyslexia affects learning in these areas and the required pedagogy. They must be knowledgeable in current diagnostic test selection and how to evaluate the results for educational instruction. For more information please visit www.dyslexiaassociation.org.au
What you can do about it if your kid is assessed as dyslexic?
The good news is that even the most severely dyslexic child can achieve dramatic reading improvement using phonic based learn to read techniques. Most schools these days DO NOT use phonic based learn to read systems so you may have to take matters into your own hands here and teach your kid yourself. My phonic learn to read system is perfect for this job. It is especially designed for parents to use and is guaranteed to improve phonic awareness skills.
Click here to order my phonic learn to read system to learn how you can help your dyslexic kid.
Dyslexic kids are not stupid.
Dyslexia is not a symptom of low IQ kids. Quite the opposite, in fact. Albert Einstein suffered from dyslexia. He was regarded as learning disabled by his teachers from a very early age. He was three years old before he learnt to talk and his Headmaster told his parents that he did not have the ability to be a successful professional. In fact, his teachers thought he was borderline retarded. How wrong they were!
Many other high achievers have also suffered from dyslexia including, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Leonardo de Vinci, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, Walt Disney and so many others.
How to build self-esteem in dyslexic kids
However, bright kids with dyslexia often end up with low self-esteem and no confidence in their language skills. They get frustrated and confused with themselves and this can lead to a woefully inadequate education if left untreated. If you are a parent of one of these kids it is vitally important that you use some positive parenting strategies to build their confidence and self esteem. Visit our Positive Parenting page to learn more.
How can Aussie Kids Coach help your dyslexic child?
Symptoms of Dyslexia
- Kids who have difficulty in learning to read, write and spell despite a normal or high IQ.
- Kids whose reading may be slow and inaccurate and usually below their grade level.
- Kids who reverse words, e.g. ‘saw’ for ‘was’, or letters, e.g. ‘b’ for ‘d’ — be aware though, that this is fairly normal in kids up to the age of about 6.
- Kids who have trouble pronouncing words.
- Kids who really struggle at spelling even simple three letter words.
- Kids who have trouble learning the order of the alphabet.
- Kids who find it hard to recount a story in the correct sequence.
- Kids who find it hard to follow procedures with multiple steps.
- Kids who are restless and who ‘switch off’ when things get too hard. These kids struggle with dyslexia on a daily basis and they get frustrated and confused. This develops all sorts of unhealthy feelings and affects their confidence and self esteem.
Different types of dyslexia
Dyslexia is an individual thing. Therefore, different kids will have different symptoms and will require different remedial activities. What works with one kid, may not work with another.
There is also some confusion about different types of dyslexia:
- By its definition, dyslexia is a phonic based problem. This problem centres on these kids finding it difficult to learn the connection between spoken or phonic sounds, and written language.
- Kids who struggle at maths are often called dyslexic as well when they have trouble with number reversal and order. However, there is a related term called dyscalculia used for kids who have impaired skills at maths.
- Many dyslexic kids struggle with their writing skills. However, there is a different type of dyslexia called dysgraphia for kids who struggle with writing. These kids often make inappropriately sized and spaced letters and have trouble confusing letters such as p, q, b, and d. These kids also usually lack basic spelling skills and but they may not have trouble reading like dyslexic kids.
Learning with dyslexia: Some tips for the parent.
- Give them flash cards with letters and words every week. If they do well and memorize them, give them a treat or an award.
- If you have a dyslexic child, try reading the same book over and over and see if they improve on reading it. Chances are, they have memorised it.
- Teach a dyslexic child how to estimate answers to their math problems. This helps them check their work to see if their answer is correct or not.
- Don’t get impatient if the child speaks too fast. Dyslexic children have visual thinking, so they think much quicker than we do, which is why their speech is rushed.
- Use objects to help teach dyslexic children, as this will be more of interest to them and they will understand it better.
- Print words black on yellow coloured paper. This is easier for them to read. Or, give them see through coloured plastic to put over words as they read.
- Allow students with dyslexia to use lined or graph paper for math problems. Lined paper enables them to follow the math problem horizontally or vertically, depending on what kind of problem they are working on.
- Read ‘The Gift of Dyslexia’. It is written by Ronald D. Davis, who is dyslexic himself. It will give you information on how dyslexic people’s minds work compared to non dyslexic people’s minds and will help you understand how dyslexic children learn better.
- If they enjoy it, let them act. Dyslexic children are often very good actors.