Parents can make a big difference
in improving the reading skills of a child diagnosed with
dyslexia. Because you are most aware of your child's
strengths and weaknesses, you can focus on learning strategies that will work
best for him or her. With young children, playing alphabet games and reading
rhyming books, for example, while offering support and encouragement, might
greatly improve reading skills. Staying involved with your child's education
throughout the school years will be a key part of your child's success.
You can be a positive force in your child's education. Following is a
list of ways parents can help their young children with dyslexia develop
reading skills and feel good about themselves.
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Read to your child. Find time to read to your child every day. Point to the words as
you read. Draw attention to words that you run across in daily life, such as
traffic signs, billboards, notices, and labels.
Be a good reading role model. Show your child how
important reading is to daily life. Make books, magazines, and other reading
materials available for your child to explore and enjoy independently.
Focus on the sounds within words (phonemes). Play rhyming games, sing songs
that emphasize rhyme and alliteration, play word games, sound out letters, and
point out similarities in words.
Work on spelling. Point out new words, play
spelling games, and encourage your child to write.
Help with time and planning. Hang up simple
charts, clocks, and calendars, so your child can visualize time and plan for
Share in the joy of reading. Find books that your
child can read but that you will also enjoy. Sit together, take turns reading,
and encourage discussion. Revisiting words that cause trouble for your child
and rereading stories are powerful tools to reinforce learning.
Read, read, read. Read to and with your child.
This can help make a positive difference in learning basic reading
Children who have dyslexia may need emotional support for
the many challenges they face. Following is a list of ways parents can offer
Learn about dyslexia. Information about dyslexia
can help you better understand and assist your child.
Teach through your child's areas of strength. For
example, if your child understands more when listening, let him or her learn
new information by listening to an audio book or watching a DVD. If
possible, follow up with the same story in written form.
Respect and challenge your child's natural intelligence. Most children with dyslexia have average or above-average
intelligence that can be challenged by parents who encourage their intellectual
growth. Be honest with your child about his or her disability. Explain it in
understandable and age-appropriate examples and terms while offering
unconditional love and support.
Teach your child to persevere. You can model,
through good-humored acceptance of your own mistakes, that mistakes can help
you find solutions.
Recognize your child's limitations. There may be
some things your child will always struggle with. Help your child understand
that this does not mean he or she is a failure.
Don't become a homework tyrant. Expecting
perfection and squabbling with your child over homework will create an
unhealthy relationship and emphasize your child's failures.