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Teaching Dyslexic Children

How do you distinguish whether a child is dyslexic? It is important to recognise markers which are common to successful identification. Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading, writing and spelling. Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed. It occurs across the range of intellectual abilities.

What to look for in reading

  • Confuses letters that look similar
  • Confuses letter order
  • Confuses short words for example ‘no’ for ‘on’
  • Has difficulty keeping on the right line
  • May add odd letters at the end of words or insert or omit words in text
  • Has difficulty learning to read high frequency words
  • Has difficulty sounding out and blending words
  • Reading may be slow and laboured
  • Reading may lack expression and comprehension

What to look for in writing

  • Reverses letters which look similar for example b/d p/q n/u t/f
  • Confuses letter order – tried for tired
  • Produces phonetic or bizarre spellings which are not age/ability appropriate
  • Same word spelt differently in the same piece of work
  • Poor standard of writing compared with oral ability
  • Tends to be messy / lots of crossing out
  • Same word spelt differently in the same piece of work
  • Poor standard of writing compared with oral ability
  • Tends to be messy / lots of crossing out

These difficulties can also manifested in mathematics, such as times tables recollection and sequencing and so on.

Resources

Nessy Learning UK: provides excellent games which are entertaining and deal with specific sounds to support dyslexic children who struggle to access the regular curriculum

Teaching the Dyslexic Child: A Video demonstrating how multisensory learning can support dyslexic children in the classroom

Further Reading

‘Dyslexia and Literacy, Theory and Practice’ Editors Reid G & Wearmouth J (2002) Chichester Wiley,

‘100+ Ideas for Supporting Children with Dyslexia’ Reid G (2011) London Continuum

‘The Dyslexia Pocketbook’ Bennett J (2006) Teachers Alresford Pocketbooks

‘How to Detect and Manage Dyslexia: A Reference and Resource Manual’ Ott P (1997) Portsmouth Heinemann

‘Dyslexia: A parents' guide to dyslexia, dyspraxia and other learning difficulties’ Muter V and Likierman H, London Vermilion

‘Addressing Difficulties in Literacy Development’ Editors: Reid G, Soler J and Wearmouth J (2002) London Routledge Falmer

‘Teaching Literacy to Learners with Dyslexia: A Multi-sensory Approach’ Kelly K & Phillips S (2011) London Sage

The Dyscalculia Toolkit: Supporting Learning Difficulties in Maths Bird R (2007) London Sage