Finding ways to help your dyslexic child at home may not be as difficult as you think. We live in a world where we have the latest technology at our fingertips and for all children struggling with any kind of learning difficulty, this technology should be taken full advantage of.

It’s important that as parents, we have the knowledge to provide the right support and understanding in order to help our children to thrive academically and emotionally. While schools play a significant role, the home environment is just as important.

For more information on what dyslexia is, please click here.

Understanding dyslexia

In order to find the best ways to help your dyslexic child at home, it’s really important to remember that dyslexia is not a reflection of intelligence – many kids with dyslexia are highly intelligent and incredibly creative. It’s also vital to understand that dyslexia presents itself differently in each person, but common symptoms include difficulty with reading, spelling, and writing, as well as challenges with phonological awareness and decoding words.

It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to creating a supportive environment at home, but the following pointers will help:

Creating a supportive environment: ways to help your dyslexic child at home
  • Open communication – having open dialogue with your child about their struggles and triumphs is vital as is encouraging them to express their feelings and frustrations regarding dyslexia without fear of judgment.
  • Celebrate achievements – acknowledge and celebrate your child’s achievements, no matter how small. Positive reinforcement boosts their confidence and motivation.
  • Set realistic expectations – understand your child’s capabilities and set realistic academic expectations. Focus on progress rather than perfection.
  • Access to resources – make sure your child has access to appropriate resources such as audiobooks, dyslexia-friendly fonts, and assistive technologies like speech-to-text software.

Click here to find the best resources for dyslexia

Reading support: ways to help your dyslexic child at home
  • Multisensory learningincorporate multisensory learning techniques into reading activities. Use materials like sandpaper letters, magnetic letters, or tactile surfaces to reinforce letter recognition and phonics.
  • Reading out loud – read out loud to your child regularly. Choose engaging and age-appropriate books, and encourage your child to follow along. This helps improve their comprehension and vocabulary skills.
  • Phonics practice – break down words into phonemes and practice decoding them together. Use games, flashcards, or online resources to make phonics practice fun and interactive.
  • Structured reading time – establish a consistent routine for reading practice. Set aside a specific time each day for reading activities to help build consistency and improve fluency.
  • Word banks and spelling lists – create word banks and spelling lists tailored to your child’s interests and academic level. You can find a selection here. Review these regularly and incorporate them into writing assignments.
  • Visual memory techniques – teach your child visual memory techniques to help with selling. Encourage them to visualize the word in their mind or use colored markers to highlight patterns and break down complex words.
  • Dictation exercises – ask your child to write down spoken words or sentences. Start with simple words and gradually increase the complexity as their skills improve.
  • Online resources – apps such as Readability will enhance your child’s development and encourage them to become avid readers.

Proven to Increase Reading Level in 90 Days

  • Touch typing – introduce touch typing skills early on to help alleviate the frustration of handwriting. Typing is less demanding and allows dyslexic children to focus more on composing their thoughts and rely on muscle memory.

After trying many different touch typing programs, we found Touch, Type, Read and Spell (TTRS) to be the best. TTRS uses an Orton-Gillingham approach using multi-sensory techniques. Users will see the words on the screen, hear them spoken out loud and then be asked to type them. This ensures that what is learnt is committed to memory. Muscle memory is an important learning technique and will ease the stress of having to remember actual spellings. There are hand guides on the screen for the correct finger position and your child will have to correctly spell every word of a module before moving onto the next. Once confident, there are also dictation exercises – where students have to spell from just the audio.

Emotional Support: ways to help your dyslexic child at home
  • Building resilience – encourage resilience and a growth mindset by emphasising the importance of perseverance and learning from mistakes.
  • Self-advocacy – teach your child self-advocacy skills, such as asking for help when needed and communicating their learning needs to teachers and peers.
  • Empathy and understanding – show empathy and understanding towards your child’s struggles. Let them know that dyslexia does not define their worth or potential.
  • Seeking professional support – consider seeking professional support from dyslexia specialists, educators, or psychologists if needed. They can provide tailored strategies and interventions to support your child’s learning needs.

Supporting a dyslexic child at home requires patience, understanding, and a willingness to explore diverse strategies. By creating a supportive environment and nurturing emotional well-being, parents can empower their dyslexic children to thrive academically and embrace their unique strengths. Remember, with the right support and encouragement, dyslexic children can and will thrive!