Dyslexia - Advice for Parents
If you are concerned that your child has dyslexia talk to your child’s teacher about your concerns and see if suitable help and support can be provided. The school’s special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) is another important contact. Arrange an appointment with the SENCo.
Your local Dyslexia association will also be able to provide help, support and information.
Behaviour which might suggest dyslexia:
In pre-school children
- Has persistent jumbled phrases, e.g. park- car for car- park.
- Forgets the names of known objects such as cup and spoon.
- Has problems learning nursery rhymes.
- Speech development is weaker than expected.
- May have walked early but did not crawl.
- Enjoys being read to but shows no interest in letters or words.
- Doesn’t always appear to be paying attention.
- Difficulty with clapping a simple rhythm
In school-aged children
- Has specific difficulty with reading, writing and spelling.
- Puts letters and figures the wrong way round.
- Has difficulty remembering multiplication tables and the alphabet.
- Occasionally confuses 'b' and 'd' and ‘p’ and ‘q’
- Uses fingers to make simple calculations.
- Has problems understanding what he/she has just read.
- Takes longer than average to read and complete written work.
- Has problems processing language at speed.
- Has difficulty getting started with written tasks.
- Has difficulty sequencing ideas.
- Has difficulty telling left from right and in front from behind.
- Has difficulty with analogue clocks
- Finds copying off the board difficult.
- Lacks confidence and finds concentration difficult.
- Forgets homework details and doesn’t have time to record everything legibly.
What parents can do to help their child
- Find out more about the condition of dyslexia.
- Talk to other parents of children with dyslexia
- Ask for help. There is likely to be a local dyslexia support group.
- Encourage your child to come and talk to you when things are going badly.
For younger children
- Read to your child, if possible on a daily basis.
- Use audio books and listen to them together
- Read with your child. Initially, encourage him/ her to read one or two familiar words, then progress to a shared reading experience whereby you read one sentence and your child reads the next.
- Play sound games such as I SPY, how many words can you think of beginning with S, which words rhyme with: rat…
- Teach letter sounds – help your child to know the sounds that go with each letter in the alphabet
- Buy good quality writing implements; some children benefit from using chunky pencil grips and special handwriting pens.
- Use computer programmes to aid learning such as Nessy and Wordshark. These are multi-sensory and fun.
For older children
- Keep reading to your child & encourage him to read to you.
- Check understanding as your child reads. Ask questions.
- Help your child to select books of an appropriate reading level – he/she should be able to read most words.
- Make reading enjoyable; know when to stop.
- Experiment with coloured overlays (reading rulers) For many children these make the reading experience much easier.
- Encourage your child to learn to touch-type
- Encourage a cursive (joined up) style of writing.
- Help your child to find a suitable pen which is comfortable to hold.
- Use lined coloured paper for writing on in preference to bright white
- Make sure that the chair and table your child uses for writing are at the correct height.
- Encourage mind-mapping for planning writing and memorizing information.
- Develop a homework routine and find a suitable, quiet place for homework.
- Encourage your child to user a voice recorder dictaphone for important information rather than relying on memory.