What Parents Can Do at Home
Read to your child. Show them that you value reading, and they will, too.
Encourage your child to read at home. Select material that your child can read fluently. Practice is especially important for students with dyslexia. What one child can read easily in 3 tries may take another child 8, 18 or even 38 tries to master! You both must keep trying, and it will become easier as the brain establishes memory connections to letters, chunks, and then entire words.
- Read the title and think about what you already know about it
- Look at all of the pictures and review any photo captions
- Review vocabulary words (words in bold or italic print)
- Read any questions in the book
- Read the headings of any chapter
- Read slowly, stopping frequently to think about what you've just read
- After reading, retell the story in your own words
Establish a regular routine and place for homework. Many students cannot concentrate well unless the area is quiet; some need snacks as they study; others need soft lighting.
Talk about the meanings of words during daily activities. The brain is able to recall things much faster and more accurately when they are stored with some type of meaning attached.
Keep instructions simple by giving one direction at a time. Ask your child to repeat the instructions and make sure that he/she understands what is being asked. Give your child time to think and respond. Dyslexics often struggle with organizing and remembering multi-step operations.
Break tasks into small chunks. It can be overwhelming to look at a page full of homework and be expected to read it all at once. Use an index card or a blank sheet of paper to mask off sections so that your child only "processes" one section at a time.
Encourage your child to keep a journal of important events. Writing can also be difficult as these students struggle to organize their thoughts and transfer them to paper. Repeated practice beginning at an early age is critical. Pen-pal letters, or letters to and from you, are a wonderful way to encourage writing.
Become informed about the condition, and make sure you are your child's best supporter. Their success will depend on the level of your involvement and support. They need your practical help and encouragement.