Dyslexia is a fairly common alteration among children. It is a disorder in which reading ability is damaged, so it is usual for children with dyslexia to have problems reading words simple or short sentences. Often they also tend to change or invert the words partially or totally, so they modify the meaning of the reading. In this way, it is usual that they fail to understand the content of the text, a problem that considerably affects the learning.
Fortunately, childhood dyslexia can be treated and the results are often very positives. In fact, studies estimate that, when a child with dyslexia under 9 years of age receives treatment, recovery is almost complete. On the contrary, it is known that when they are over 10 years of age, recovery is usually be more complicated, although it is also possible. This is due to the fact that as the child grows, it is more difficult to teach him to read again since he already has established certain patterns and ways of learning.
However, the key lies not only in the age of the child but also in their motivation and in the degree of individualization of the treatment. It should not be forgotten that treatment is usually hard work for any child, so it is common for them to lose interest and motivation or give up. On the other hand, the characteristics of dyslexia can vary from case to case, so effective treatment for one child may not necessarily be effective for another. Therefore, each treatment must be adapted.
5 tricks to help a child with dyslexia
The treatment to help a child with dyslexia must focus on two fundamental issues: teaching read back to the child at their own pace of learning and support them emotionally throughout the process to raise their self-esteem and confidence.
1. Schedule a time each day for reading
It is important to have a daily plan that allows the child to train their reading skills. This will allow reading to become a habit and This will make it much easier for the child to pronounce the letters and words correctly.
2. Allow the child to do the chores for himself and give him help only when he needs it
To motivate the child and raise his self-esteem, you should allow him to do all the tasks that are within his control on his own scope. You should only help him when he really needs it, and it’s not about doing the task for him, but about giving him small levels of help so he can continue.
3. Make a list with the most difficult words
You can make a weekly list with the 5 or 6 words in which the child has the most difficulty. So you can show it 2 or 3 times , while doing homework, to analyze them, separate them into syllables, understand their meaning and memorize them. Remember that visual memory is very important for spelling and reading in dyslexia.
4. Choose a text that the child finds interesting and read it aloud
This is one of the most effective activities for a child with dyslexia because it gives them a reading pattern to follow. However, you should look for a text that interests and motivates him. While you read, make sure that the child is following the reading with his eyes. You can also engage him and ask him to read some excerpts.
5. Let him look up the words he doesn’t understand and help him understand their meaning
Before starting to work with a text, let the child take a first look and spot the words he doesn’t understand. Give him time to look up its meaning in a dictionary or help him do it. This way, it will be easier for you to deal with the text when you read it aloud.
The golden rules for treating dyslexia in children
For the child with dyslexia it is essential to feel sure of himself, he must trust his abilities to achieve the goals he sets for himself. If he thinks that he will never be able to overcome the obstacles to learning to read and write, he will be afraid to try and it is likely that he will never succeed. On the contrary, if you are motivated and confident that you can overcome your problems, the chances that you will develop reading and writing skills increase. This is what is known in the field of Psychology as the “Pygmalion Effect” and indicates that when people involved in education transmit confidence, it improves the academic performance of students.
Plan the study according to your possibilities
Most parents and teachers tend to teach students read and write to the dyslexic child with the same methods used for the rest of the students. However, they overlook that dyslexia imposes a different learning pace. Therefore, it is important that academic activities are adapted to the personal characteristics of the child, their deficiencies and their learning pace. In fact, even a method that works for one child with dyslexia may not be as effective for others. However, the golden rule is to adapt to the individual learning pace: it is important that the child has enough time to organize their thoughts, understand instructions, and complete assignments.
Fix one mistake at a time
One of the most common mistakes in the treatment of childhood dyslexia It consists of trying to correct all the errors in the reading at the same time. However, this strategy does not really help to overcome the difficulties but makes the child feel frustrated and confused. Ideally, you should avoid systematically correcting all mistakes and concentrate only on the problems you are working on. working on the lesson. In addition, it is not convenient to go on to correct new errors if the difficulties that were being worked on have not been overcome beforehand. In dyslexia, to move quickly, you need to go slow.
Reinforce their progress
Parents and teachers often focus on mistakes and forget achievements. However, reinforcing academic progress and praising the child every time he manages to appropriate new content is a fundamental incentive for learning. To praise him it is not necessary to resort to gifts, a phrase of encouragement such as “You have done well” or “You see that you could achieve it” will be more than enough. However, avoid always praising him and, above all, do not make comparisons with other children.