How to Cope with Dyslexia

It is a good idea for teachers to clarify what is meant by ‘dyslexia’ in an individual child. Unfortunately, the term dyslexia is sometimes inappropriately used to cover a wide range of learning difficulties. This is often not particularly helpful for the child. True dyslexia is a language-based learning disability specifically related to reading. There are many other types of specific learning difficulties.

If a child in your class has a label of dyslexia, consider whether the term has been appropriately used, as this may influence the teaching strategies you implement. He may also have features of, for example, ADHD and/or Tourette Syndrome and/or handwriting difficulties, and this may have led to an inappropriate diagnosis.


Helpful strategies for the child with dyslexia include teaching phonological awareness, including sound discrimination and identification, syllables and rhyme, and hearing sounds within words. The letter-sound links should also be taught in a structured, cumulative and multi-sensory way. These children need frequent reminders and revision of what has been learned.

If the child has difficulty expressing ideas, then try using visualization techniques, keep a vocabulary book and use story tapes.

Make sure that the reading tasks are appropriate for the skill and comprehension levels of the pupil, while at the same time being interesting and challenging. Also, highlight key words and instructions on worksheets, using large well-spaced type, with visuals and short sentences.

Use a range of approaches to accommodate different styles of thinking and learning. For visual learners, make use of plenty of visual material, overhead projectors, video and interactive whiteboards. For auditory learners, use a range of social interactions, discussions, questions and answers, word pictures and auditory memory games. For kinaesthetic learning styles, the pupil will require lots of different ways of gathering information, looking, listening, hands-on exploration and experimentation. For children with auditory working memory difficulties it can be helpful to use a range of memory strategies and games, mnemonics and, if necessary, to use a dictaphone.

For pupils who struggle with written work, look for alternative methods of recording such as developing touch-typing skills, using a computer, tape recorder, dictaphone, scribe or possibly voice-recognition software.

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care


About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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