Parents and guardians often feel at a loss when children are diagnosed with dyslexia, but this doesn’t need to be the case. Supporting a student with dyslexia can be easier with these home tips that are designed for students in mainstream classes.
To begin with, you can help your child with time management:
- Map out more than the due dates. Note when to start working on each smaller piece of larger tasks. Break assignments—whether it’s a project or studying for tests—into smaller, more manageable pieces. There is scheduling and project management software to help with this, or color code a large wall calendar.
- First things first. Prioritize assignments by due dates.
- No weeknights off. If there is no homework scheduled for that night, start on something else such as pre-reading or reviewing for a test. (This is a tough one, because even students tend to spread themselves thin, but remaining proactive and on task is critical.)
- Color code binders. For example, use red for math, and blue for English.
Furthermore, use technology to your advantage! It’s advancing by leaps and bounds, which is making the world increasingly accessible for those with dyslexia. It’s important to note that:
- Most devices have built-in or access to software capable of text-to-speech.
- Individuals with dyslexia can edit papers or study by having the laptop read the paper and/or notes aloud to them, or they can have e-mails—including attachments—read aloud.
- Oral presentations can be practiced by reading aloud with the text.
- A friend or family member can record themselves reading the paper; students can listen to that recording to help identify errors.
Finally, research has shown that reading aloud to children benefits them at any age—not just students with dyslexia but neurotypical readers as well. If reading aloud is not your forte, listen to an audiobook with your child at home or in the car; there are excellent ones that can be purchased, or they can be downloaded for free from the public library.
Although nothing will replace the importance of a direct, multisensory, structured language approach to remediating reading difficulties for individuals with dyslexia, parents and guardians can help.