10 things to do if your child is dyslexic
- Understand the problem - read the articles on this site, in particular:
- Speak to your child's teacher or assessor -confirm the existence and degree of dyslexia. Dyslexia has many manifestations. Understand how your child is likely to be affected. Is she likely to suffer reading or writing problems, or perhaps short term memory lapses?
- Speak to an educational specialist and develop a strategy for your child to help overcome her difficulties.
- Support the strategy rigorously - Sally Shaywitz believes support for the young reader should be intense, of a high quality and of sufficient duration to help transform the young reader to the level of her peers.
- Get the appropriate software - assistive technology that can tutor the young student towards independent learning is a must. The best dyslexic software will support reading, by using an inbuilt synthesiser to read back text, provide spelling and grammar support.
- Speak to your school or local education area about making text books available in alternative formats such as DAISY. DAISY means digital accessible information systems also referred to as digital talking books. The text and audio are combined and synchronised. These books are also navigable making studying similar to using text books.
- Speak to your local library. In some countries publishers are being encouraged to deliver all books as DAISY books so that children who are visually impaired or dyslexic have equal access. If the libraries and the publishers know you are interested they will begin to move in this direction.
- Support your school by being a little patient about their service. Teachers are busy people. Unfortunately, even though each school has a duty to provide alternative format learning materials to students with dyslexia, not all of them do. This is often to do with information or work overload, so try to be patient.
- Dyslexia is sometimes seen a soft disability by the policy makers, not serious enough to be taken seriously. Don't forget this is a critical time in your child's development so if you're concerned about the availability of DAISY books, write to your political representative, highlighting the lack of accessible books.
- Don't forget to enjoy the experience - dyslexia is frequently perceived negatively but lurking beneath the reading problems can be an Aladdin's cave of energy, interesting ideas, comical insights, zany creativity or highly charged ambition.
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