We spend approximately 21,000 hours in school. That is not counting the after school classes or homework. That is a lot of hours and a lot of work. It is difficult enough to get through all of these hours for a straight-A student, now imagine how it must feel if you have a learning disability, such as dyslexia, to fight on top of that.
Some children simply learn differently. And according to statistics, learning disabilities are far more common than you thought.
Approximately every fourth child in the United States is dealing with reading difficulties. And like we explained in the article “Learn to Read: Reading is a fundamental skill”, learning can get pretty difficult when you can’t master reading.
So here are 7 proven methods that will help your child in the battle against dyslexia and give him an equal shot at high-quality education:
The Multi-Sensory Reading Method focuses on using as many senses as possible instead of just your sight. The child should, according to the method, use his sight, hearing, feeling and the awareness of motion when reading. The logic behind the method is that multiple sensors stimulate multiple areas of the brain, which leads to more learning.
Example: Let’s say someone explains to us how beautiful and tasty an apple is. We can believe them and acknowledge that, but it is far better if we experience an apple by ourselves. We look at it getting all red on the tree, watch it fall off and taste the sweetness as we grab a bite.
The same goes for multi-sensory learning. Instead of simply reading a word, make physical letters and have your child spell the word with them. If he or she hears you pronouncing the word at the same time even better.
Another method showing very promising results is based on colors. The theory behind the idea is simple. Help the brain create a connection between the shape of the letter and a chosen color. This speeds up the learning process greatly, helping with reading rate, reading accuracy, and text comprehension.
Color Coding is especially useful for younger readers, 5 to 10 years old, who have difficulties learning to read. The method provides an almost instantaneous deliverance. The dyslexic child finds the reading easier, which leads to improved self-image and boosted motivation.
Example: The Color Coding system was successfully adopted by Kobi — a mobile app that helps children learn to read. It is carefully crafted for kids with reading difficulties, such as dyslexia, and shows promising results. During the testing of their innovative method, a 100 education professionals worked with more than 500 children who are battling dyslexia and found that 93,63% of the children showed significant improvement in reading rate, reading accuracy and reading comprehension after reading with Kobi.
Kids love playing games. So why not use them to help the children become better at spelling? Spelling and other games are not that different from actually sitting behind a desk and writing words on a piece of paper. The main difference is, kids, love to use computers and tablets. They work as motivation boosters, so you just might have more luck convincing a child to write on a tablet rather than a piece of paper.
Example: There are several spelling programs for dyslexic children out there. Simplex Spelling offers a complete bundle of tools you can use to motivate your child to learn to spell words correctly. The words in the Simplex Spelling games focus on some of the highest frequency words in the English language to help students establish a base foundation of literacy and confidence with spelling.
For those parents who don’t like to see their children in front of computer screens all the time, there are also games you can print out, like those found on Dyslexia.com.
Children, who are suffering from dyslexia, require more brainpower to master the reading process. Systematic Learning tries to minimize that. Systematic Learning is all about… well… systems. So creating a system of learning and using the same system to teach your dyslexic child about the rules in the language.
Read more in our Learn to Read: A Comprehensive Guide for Parents
Example: Create a systematic process to teach your child about the
Now you have a system for learning syllables. You explain all other syllables to your dyslexic kid in the same way. In the long run, this should limit the amount of brain power required to master reading, therefore making it easier for the child.
In contrast to Systematic Learning, Sequential Learning focuses on giving the dyslexic child simple information first. This helps the young reader master the basics first, before moving to progressively tougher topics.
The method can have a positive impact on children, who like to learn or have little issues with learning, as continuous learning is required in order not to get stuck and frustrated.
Example: Instead of explaining the syllables with a system, teach your child about all the basic rules first. Once he has mastered the basics, move on to example words and spelling with physical letters.
Although not really a method, several people who struggle with dyslexia, rely on audiobooks. And why not? Audiobooks provide a good alternative to
Example: Instead of forcing your child to read when he or she is about to throw a tantrum, try giving him a 15-minute audiobook session. See if this calms your child down and hopefully prepare him or her for another reading session.
The drawback to audiobooks is, that not all the material is available in audio form. Also, children can’t learn to read or spell with the help of audiobooks, so do not try to replace reading with listening to audiobooks.
Whisper Reading is a technique used to help kids build reading skills. Generally, the technique requires your kid to read silently. Every few minutes you get to check on him. When you do, ask your child to read in a whispering voice, so you can assist with any pronunciation issues or difficult words.
Example: The great benefit of Whisper Reading is when dealing with multiple children at the same time. When a child whispers, you can check on his progress and help him, but at the same time, this does not disturb the other children, so they can read at their own pace.
The technique, therefore, can be used if you have more than one child, but can also be useful if you decide to form study groups with your child’s peers.
Practice, practice, practice
Some of the techniques mentioned above might work well for your kid, others might not. The goal is to adjust the child’s environment into a fun place, where he or she will be eager to learn and will succeed in the battle against dyslexia. Obviously, there will be good days and tough days, but the bottom line is, your child needs practice to master the reading skill.