There are different types of Dyslexia (Specific Learning Difficulties) and if the child has strong visual skills, he can often read well and his difficulties only affect him when he is writing and spelling. But if the child has a visual deficit, reading can often be a struggle both at school and home. Here are some ideas that can help when working on reading and this can also reduce the frustration the child is experiencing.
Paired reading is an exercise that works well with younger children. Sit beside your child and explain that you will read the text aloud with him. Agree a signal he can use if he wants you to stop reading and he is happy to continue alone. If he struggles he can tap your hand and you join in again. This technique can be difficult at first but as you both get used to the pace of reading, it can encourage the child to read and he knows he is not going to fail.
If your child is having difficulties with a school reader, there are a number of ideas you can try. Before reading the story, discuss the title and pictures with the child. Ask him to predict what the story is about and what he thinks will happen. This often brings up vocabulary that appears in the story and allows the child to recognise the word quickly.
Reading the story in full to the child promotes comprehension. He then reads it next and because he has heard the story, he can recall a number of the words. If he doesn’t know a word just supply it as you are trying to encourage fluent reading and making a child sound out the unknown word may make him forget what he has read.
Identifying unknown words and writing them on flashcards before reading the story can help also. When the words are known, the child can read the story with confidence and reading fluently aids comprehension.
Many children with Dyslexia may avoid reading for enjoyment because for them it has never been enjoyable. Selecting books or magazines about subjects they enjoy such as football, farming or super heroes will encourage them to read. Barrington Stoke and other companies produce a range of high interest, low reading age novels and these can be useful when trying to motivate teenagers to read. Remember most of us read for enjoyment and that is what children with Dyslexia want to do!