How to Help a Child with Dyslexia at Home: Best Strategies and Tips
What is Dyslexia | How to Help Kids with Dyslexia at Home | How to Motivate a Dyslexic Child | How to Talk to a Dyslexic Child | Using Forbrain
If you are a parent of a child with dyslexia, you’ll understand exactly what challenges they face every day. Despite their attempts to learn to read, they might still struggle to make sense of words, struggle with learning letters, numbers and colors, and find it much harder to learn to spell correctly.
It can be incredibly frustrating, affecting their confidence, self-esteem and motivation and often making them feel like they are ‘stupid’ or even ‘a failure.’
However, dyslexia needn’t be an impairment or prevent your child from living a successful and rewarding life. With the right help with their dyslexia and comprehensive support at home, they can fulfill their potential and grow in confidence.
In this article, we’ll explain more about dyslexia, tell you how you can help your kids with dyslexia at home and share strategies, tips and tricks that can help you provide the support your dyslexic child needs.
These are the best tips you can try at home:
Keep reading to discover how to use these tips and strategies effectively with your dyslexic child.
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a common, language-based learning disability that affects around 15-20% of the population, according to the International Dyslexia Association. The disorder makes it harder for a person to match letters with their sounds, making it much harder to read fluently, spell accurately and pronounce words correctly. Often undiagnosed, it’s usually identified when a child starts formal education around the age of 5 or 6 and will last throughout their lives.
It’s important to know that being diagnosed with dyslexia doesn’t mean that your child is less intelligent than their peers or the rest of the family or has problems with hearing or vision. They just process information and learn differently and have many ‘superpowers’ such as better spatial reasoning, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
How to Help Kids with Dyslexia at Home
If you suspect that your child might have dyslexia, try not to panic. First, look into getting a professional diagnosis to help you understand whether your child does indeed have dyslexia or if something else could be responsible for their challenges.
Once you’ve done this, you can support your child with the right home dyslexia therapy so they can build their confidence, learn to read and help them achieve their best. Use these home dyslexia therapy tips and suggestions below alongside your Forbrain headset for optimal results.
Helping a dyslexic child learn to read
Here are some strategies and tips you can use to help your dyslexic child learn to read and help them fall in love with books.
Every child will thrive when reading is a big part of their day. This helps enhance their overall language processing skills, sparks their imagination, and helps them to improve their overall reading skills.
Make sure you read aloud as a family every day, choosing materials that interest your child (even if this means reading their favorite book for the 1000th time!). Sit next to the child and encourage them to follow along as you’re reading, stopping often to chat about the characters, story and answer their questions.
If you come across any new or interesting words or tricky spellings, take the time to discuss these too.
Encourage solo reading time
Build your dyslexic child’s reading skills by encouraging them to spend time reading alone, both quietly and aloud. Create a cozy reading space and make sure they have access to the books that interest them and spark their imagination.
For dyslexics, you can also look for books with lots of pictures including graphic novels and comic books to help them engage their visual processing skills. It’s also worth keeping an eye open for dyslexia-friendly books that use fonts, spaces, and color to make it easier to read the text.
Studies also suggest that reading with music can also help the dyslexic child develop their language skills.
Remember to lead by example too. If you can read at the same time as your child, you show that it can be a fun and rewarding experience and encourage them to keep reading.
Focus on sight words
When you are helping your dyslexic child learn to read, focus on sight words. These are the words used most frequently in writing and need to be recognized ‘at a glance,’ not by breaking them down into their sounds and including words like ‘is,’ ‘been,’ ‘the’, ‘are’ and ‘could’.
This can be tricky for children with dyslexia but it’s a vital step to help them build reading fluency.
Make learning feel like play
Children and adults alike love learning even more when it feels like fun so don’t be afraid to unleash your silly side. Make up songs, poems, and silly dances to help remember things, play word games, and make sure you laugh as much as possible.
Study tips and tricks for dyslexic children
Children with dyslexia can find it harder to study and achieve their best because of their problems with reading, writing and spelling. Here are some study tips that can help them thrive at school, manage their time more effectively and fulfil their potential.
Set up a nurturing study space
Every child learns differently and needs a different physical environment to help them learn effectively. To support them, create a comfortable, non-judgmental learning space that suits your child’s unique learning style and learn in a way that works for them.
It’s harder to stay organized when you have dyslexia and can often feel overwhelmed when faced with assignments or larger projects. Wherever possible, break goals down into more manageable chunks that help it feel more attainable and make it easier to see learning success.
Also, create a system that helps you and your dyslexic child keep track of schoolwork. This can include a calendar, different colored folders or pens, visual clues or even reminders on a smartphone for older kids.
Teach memory techniques
Tried and tested memory techniques like mnemonic devices work well for dyslexics according to research from 2017 and can improve critical thinking skills, reasoning, and reading abilities.
Use visual imagery and rhymes
Bring songs, letter or word imagery, acronyms and rhymes into learning and you’ll notice a huge improvement.
Set fair rules
Ensure that you set clear rules regarding study time and homework with clear consequences if these are not met. Spend time discussing this with your child and work together to ensure everyone feels like they have a voice and are more likely to comply.
For example, you could agree that there is to be no phone, TV or internet access until schoolwork is completed. They may resist for a few days but eventually, these clear rules will work.
Encourage independent thinking skills
Every day, encourage your child to have a curious mind, discussing any problems or topics, listening closely, and sharing your points of view. This will help boost their analytical thinking and problem-solving skills and boost their reading comprehension.
Give your child brief writing tasks every week
Practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to writing skills for a child with dyslexia. That’s why we highly recommend that you set them small, easy-to-tackle writing tasks throughout the week including making lists, writing personal notes, emails, or letters, and recording events in their diary or calendar. This will help develop more fluid writing skills and give you the opportunity to tackle any problems.
As your child gets older, you’ll find a wide range of helpful and effective tools on your tablet, smartphone, or computer. Online dictionaries, spell checks and text-to-speech software can make a substantial difference in your child’s progress, especially when completing assignments.
Our patented Forbrain headset has also been designed to support your child with their learning, allowing your child to improve their reading and pronunciation skills.
Providing emotional support to your dyslexic child
Dyslexia doesn’t only make it harder for your child to learn to read or to achieve success at school. As mentioned, it can affect their confidence and make them believe their are less intelligent than their peers. Follow these three tips and you can help boost their self-esteem, increase their motivation and learn more effectively.
Help your child understand dyslexia
Many children with dyslexia believe that they are less intelligent than their peers because they cannot read as fluently as their peers or struggle with other language skills. Boost their confidence and help them better understand themselves by telling them more about dyslexia, reassuring them that this is not the case and it’s not their fault, and more importantly, that you can work through it together.
After all, even Albert Einstein had dyslexia, alongside many other exceptionally talented people. If they could achieve remarkable success in their lives, your child can too!
Praise their efforts and celebrate their wins
Always focus on the positives, celebrating your child’s wins no matter how small they can be. This will help boost their confidence, motivate them to keep trying and remind them that you are proud of their achievements. Don’t expect perfection!
Make sure your child gets enough sleep
When we are well-rested, we learn more effectively, feel more confident and are positive about our lives. Dyslexics tend to suffer more from sleep disorders so set a sleep schedule and bedtime routine, limit their social media and electronic use before bed and make sure their bedroom is a comfortable, restful place.
Children between the ages of 5-13 should get around 9-12 hours of sleep and teens and adults should aim for 8-10 hours.
How do you motivate a dyslexic child?
Motivating a dyslexic child is difficult, especially because they face self-esteem and self-confidence problems. However, the effort is worth it if you want to help them thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.
Here are some tips that can help:
- Stick to your daily routines. Set tasks to be completed at the same time every day and your child is much more likely to do it and less likely to procrastinate.
- Focus on their learning style. Understand their unique learning style and then use it to help them learn in the most effective way for them.
- Boost creativity & fun. Make learning more enjoyable and they are more likely to retain the information and feel more motivated to do it again. Include creativity in their learning activities wherever possible, offering opportunities to draw, paint, dance and create or listen to music.
- Give plenty of positive feedback. Again, always focus on the positives, celebrating their wins even if they seem small to others. This will help them focus on their abilities and compare themselves less to their peers.
- Encourage them to take control of learning. Taking control of your learning can be a great motivator in itself. Encourage your child to assess their own progress, set goals, self-reflect and become responsible for their own learning.
How do you talk to a dyslexic child?
When you talk to your child about their dyslexia, always keep the conversation positive and empowering. Bring up the topic in a neutral place where they feel at ease to talk. Often it helps to find a receptive time such as during a walk or working on a project together.
Start by explaining what dyslexia is and what it means for them. Reassure them that they are just as smart as other kids, their brain just works differently. Use clear language tailored to their age and explain how you and their school will help. Make sure that your child knows that you understand, will support them and that they can still enjoy a bright future.
At the same time, avoid telling them that they will improve if they try harder because this isn’t realistic for your child and dyslexia isn’t that simple. Also ensure that they know they have just as many opportunities as other children and can be just as successful.
Never tell them to keep their dyslexia a secret, don’t make them feel like their dyslexia is a problem or that using tools to aid their learning and understanding like spellcheckers is wrong.
Using Forbrain to Help with Dyslexia
Want to help your child develop their reading skills, improve pronunciation, and achieve their best at school and in life? Invest in the patented audio stimulation headset, Forbrain.
With its enhanced auditory feedback loop, it helps your child hear their voice louder and more clearly so that it is easier to recall and remember what they are learning. They’ll receive the instant feedback they need to boost their confidence, motivation, communication skills and cognitive abilities.
Used for just 10-20 minutes per day, you’ll see your child grow in confidence and improve their reading in as little as just a few weeks.
If you suspect that your child has dyslexia or has recently been diagnosed, there’s no need to worry. With the right dyslexia support at home, they can improve their reading skills, spelling, and language comprehension, become a more motivated student, and become more self-confident.
Use the strategies and tips for helping your child with dyslexia at home alongside the scientifically proven Forbrain headset and you can help them overcome their challenges while having fun.
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