According to IDonline, 43.5 million people in the U.S. have dyslexia. It is also one of the most common learning disabilities in children.
The most common signs of dyslexia are difficulty learning new words, correlation of sounds and letters, memory retention, poor concentration, and word formation problems. Dyslexia can affect a child on social and emotional levels as well.
Children who have dyslexia can face problems expressing feelings and have low confidence.
Moreover, these children also face problems with learning languages and reading, but with adequate learning aids and emotional support, children can learn to read fluently.
It is essential to provide well-rounded learning strategies that facilitate learning difficulties and help with the children’s social and emotional development.
So with that in mind, we have highlighted multiple ways to assist dyslexic children in their learning journey.
1: Language Learning Strategies
- Multi-sensory learning Approach: Dyslexic children learn better when different brain parts are stimulated through multiple senses. Learning materials like flashcards, tangible objects, pictures, hands-on materials, and toys make excellent instructional materials.
Teachers can also use physical movements like dancing and gestures to aid learning.
- Visual aid: Dyslexic children have trouble with memory retention. Incorporating visuals in the learning material helps them to utilize visual memory to recall words and letters.
For instance, painting a letter with their favorite color or drawing a letter is more beneficial for dyslexic children.
- Repetition and Frequency of Intervention: Children, in general, learn with repetition. Once a new word is introduced, lessons should be planned to incorporate the same word multiple times.
Also, the number of times the word is repeated in a day is essential. It would be best to introduce a short lesson plan in the morning and then in the evening for reinforcement.
Repeated reading in Dyslexic children, according to a study, has increased fluency.
- Phonemic Approach: Dyslexic children have trouble connecting the sounds with the letters and word recognition. They require a systematic approach detailing the connection between letters and sounds, from the easiest sounds to the complicated ones.
- Read Aloud: Auditory aid is beneficial for children with dyslexia. Printed books can be difficult for dyslexic children to navigate. On the other hand, Audiobooks are better for dyslexic children as they develop concentration and listening.
Reading aloud with parents can be a comforting experience for dyslexic children and will improve their emotional health.
- Sight Words: Dyslexic children learn better when high-frequency sight words are repeated. Rote repetition or mnemonic devices can help children to recognize and remember the words.
- Conceptual Comprehension: Children must understand what they’re reading. Conceptual learning will develop the thinking skills of the children. Dyslexic children benefit when teachers inquire about the meaning of the words.
- Small Units: It is advisable not to introduce complete sentences or paragraphs to Dyslexic Children. For easy assignments, language units should be broken down into small, recognizable units.
- Story-Reading: Stories are an ideal learning tool for children. Dyslexic children specifically benefit from story reading, as using imagination in stories will improve creativity and concentration.
Moreover, stories can help dyslexic children with regulating and express their feelings.
2: Emotional and Social Support Strategies
- Inclusive Classrooms: Children have different learning needs and learn in various settings. Classrooms or other learning spaces should be organized to accommodate diverse learning needs to increase the attention and concentration span of the children.
For instance, some children learn better with less stimulation in a quiet corner, while others work better in teams. A good learning setting is a comfortable space where all needs of the students are addressed.
- Compassionate Teachers: Children with learning disabilities and dyslexia progress with compassionate and understanding mentors. Dyslexic children generally have mental health problems.
So an empathetic and kind teacher understands the struggles of dyslexic children and creates effective learning opportunities for children.
- Individual Pacing: Children vary in learning difficulties, and customized learning speed is essential for dyslexic students. Every dyslexic child has multiple abilities and should be incorporated into the learning process to devise individual paces for the children.
For example, a child has excellent drawing skills, and lesson plans customized according to his abilities will improve the learning process.
- Realistic Goals: Dyslexia can result in low motivation and frustration due to learning difficulties. Reading with dyslexia is a long and time-consuming process, so setting realistic and short-term goals will encourage children to succeed.
Small, incremental steps will give a sense of achievement to children. Realistic goals will decrease performance anxiety and will also improve the emotional well-being of dyslexic children.
- Acknowledgment and Praise: Acknowledgment and praise from teachers and parents accelerate the learning potential of dyslexic children. Parents and teachers should create opportunities to acknowledge the efforts of the children.
Praise and celebrate progress because positive reinforcement and support will boost confidence in children, which is particularly beneficial in dyslexia.
- Fun Learning: Reading shouldn’t be a chore for dyslexic children. In fact, it should be a fun and engaging activity where children are allowed to experiment. Dyslexic children don’t thrive in traditional and structured classrooms, which is why conventional teaching strategies must be avoided.
- Introduce Role Models: Affective role models can help improve self-image and self-esteem in children with dyslexia. Low self-esteem hinders learning ability.
Dyslexic children should be empowered and given examples of people like Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison (they had dyslexia). Adequate inspiration will decrease the lack of motivation and embarrassment in children.
Dyslexia is a learning disability that requires a holistic approach. From different learning strategies to forming an emotional and social support systems – it can be an arduous journey for children and parents.
However, appropriate learning aids and techniques have successfully developed reading and learning abilities in children.
We hope you learned something meaningful from this article. If we missed anything, let us know in the comments below.