Being dyslexia aware is vital for all schools and educators. Every child with dyslexia is affected in a different way. Some have more serious issues with reading and spelling while for others, the main struggle is processing speed, organization or short term memory. Approximately 1 in 5 children have a learning difference like dyslexia in the US while 1 in 10 suffer in the UK. It is therefore crucial that all educators are aware of the signs, symptoms and learning techniques for dyslexia in children.
A learning difference
Students with dyslexia learn differently. They respond best to multi-sensory learning techniques and an inclusive, dyslexia-friendly classroom is incredibly important. Successful learning experiences must be achievable for every student.
Being dyslexia aware means that a school/individual teachers know how to teach using different techniques. Having the knowledge and understanding about a dyslexic child’s struggle will significantly help that child gain confidence and be the best they can be. Knowing the signs to look out for could save a child years of self-doubt. Every child has a coping mechanism, however with the correct support put in place, they do not need to cope on their own. Being dyslexia aware will have a significant impact on the child’s life.
How to help
If a school/teacher is not dyslexia aware, they will not understand the importance of certain accommodations which are vital to the success and future of every child with a learning difficulty/learning difference.
Accommodations to consider:
- Daily routines – structure is crucial.
- Simple and clear directions – single-step directions are very important with the key factors highlighted. Directions should be repeated as required.
- Small amounts of work presented at one time – be realistic with expectations.
- Use of recording devices – for students to replay lessons as needed for clarity and understanding.
- Additional activities and resources for practice – to help with mastering certain skills.
- Multi-sensory learning techniques – the combination of verbal, visual and audio communication as well as a balance of presentations, dictation and activities.
- Highlight essential information – on all worksheets.
- Copies of notes – for those unable to keep up in lessons/lectures.
- Reading guides – which are essential study maps of the content to help with focus and understanding. These can be developed page-by-page or section-by-section.
- A graphic organiser – such as charts, a blank web, or an outline. Students then listen for key information to fill the organiser.
- Provide a list of keywords/key points – either written on the board or given individually as an additional resource.
- Insert Glossaries into worksheets – to improve understanding.
- Mnemonic instruction – to help retain key information.
- Place students close to the teacher – away from distractions.
- Encourage the use of calendars and diaries – to write down homework tasks and other deadlines.
- Introduce a daily review – to help students re-engage with what they learnt earlier in the day.
- Include multiple choice, underlining and sorting as ways to answer questions – not just writing.
- Give tests in oral and written format – allow them the chance to show off their knowledge.
- Pair with peers – such as a reading buddy and encourage note sharing with their peers.
- Turn lined paper vertical for maths – to ensure numbers stay in the correct columns.
- Allow number lines, counters and calculators while they learn different mathematical operations.
- Give extra time to complete written assignments.
Download this infographic
Download this infographic on being dyslexia aware. Print it, share it and use it. It could make all the difference for a struggling child in your class.
For more information on teaching a child with dyslexia, read this blog on the top 40 hints and if you would like to transform your class into an inclusive, dyslexia-friendly space, click here to find out how.