DYSLEXIA TEACHING TECHNIQUES
Teaching strategies to help dyslexic children
There are numerous techniques for teaching dyslexic children. Not all dyslexics will respond to the same techniques, so it is important to work out what will work with each particular child. Presented here are some of the techniques you could try..
Start with the Child. Dyslexic learners may often have ‘failed’ and it is very important to start by talking to and listening to your pupil. This
lets you get to know the pupil as a person and get to know their interests, allows the pupil to get to know you, builds up trust and confidence, helps you to assess oral ability.
Learners need to feel confident to ‘have a go’ and often a dyslexic’s self esteem can be low because of previous failure. When trust is established it is much easier to find out the best way to help and support.
Try to use a range of resources and approaches which will ensure success early on which will motivate the student to learn more and to be more confident in his/her ability to learn.
What material should I use?
There are numerous programs, teaching aids, software packages etc that you can use with students. Whichever you choose, if you are positive about it then the pupil’s confidence is improved there is a far greater chance of success.
Tuition should be multi-sensory involving looking, listening, speaking, touching etc with as much variation as possible but we are all unique and it is good to observe whether the child/adult is predominantly a
VISUAL LEARNER (learns best by seeing)
AUDITORY LEARNING (learns best by listening)
KINESTHETIC LEARNER (learns by doing/feeling)
The following are just a few tips that can be useful for any type of learner. However, the more you get to know your pupil the more you will work together to find the best individual tips.
Use pictures and multi-media material
Stick spelling words anywhere in view
Look at pictures in a book before reading
Play games eg ‘pairs’ to improve memory
Draw mind maps
Use different colour eg syllables in words
Use good visual software programmes
Have an uncluttered work area
Talk about the book to be read or the information to be learned
Make sure instructions are orally clear
Get the student to record the information so it can be listened to again
Use software which has good auditory input.
Trace letters in sand or in the air
Use concrete objects which can be handled eg wooden letters, numbers etc
Memorize facts while moving about
Tips for Numbers Work
Talk about numbers eg TV channels, dates, house numbers
Count eg climbing stairs, skipping, etc
Handle real coins
Discuss time – day/night, early/late
Sequence days, months, birthdays
Use board games, dominoes, dice
Use maths words eg how many, the same
Discuss symbols and signs
It is very important for a dyslexic to feel confident using a calculator.
Good organization needs to be encouraged as dyslexics often jump to the answer. They need to be taught how to set down ‘working’.
Tips for Written Work
Use lined paper
Use spell checker
Use word bank
Close procedure (handouts with blanks)
Use Co-writer or Texthelp (if available)
Whenever possible give praise for content
Tips for Reading
Limit reading demands
Ensure appropriate reading level/material
Prepare a subject word list
If the child has Meares Irlen Syndrome use coloured overlays/glasses
Try out computer software eg wordshark
Llisten to taped books
The classroom assistant can be
Crucial in helping a pupil achieve success of important help to the class teacher
The classroom assistant often knows a pupil far better than most of the other staff in the school because of the close daily contact in a variety of situations. The assistant can
Break down instructions and tasks
Keep a pupil on task
Organize work materials
Read and/or scribe
Note down homework
Help with practical tasks
For a dyslexic this support is invaluable.
The classroom assistant can sometimes help the class teacher to prepare individual work material. In addition the assistant can let the class teacher know
Which tasks are causing difficulty
Where the pupil’s strengths lie
If homework is causing excessive stress
If there are problems relating to peers
Difficulties with processing information mean that lack of time is often a problem for a dyslexic child. He/she will feel a failure if work is consistently left incomplete.
The individual support of a classroom assistant can allow a pupil to finish a task before moving on.