Dyslexia is extremely common. In fact, 1 in 5 people suffer from it. Many children have to learn how to cope with this learning disability, which causes them to have difficulty reading. A child's chances of having dyslexia are 50% if one parent has it and 100% if both parents have it, but if you have a child with dyslexia and don't have the disability yourself, you might struggle to know how to help him or her. Whether you're familiar with dyslexia or the diagnosis is new to you and your family, here are five great tips for helping your child succeed.
Tip #1: Find him or her a skilled tutor.
Your child's teachers only have so much time for individual students. A tutor can help your kid stay on top of the school work, and a skilled and experienced tutor will know how to accommodate your child's needs. If they're struggling in algebra or geometry, math online tutoring can make a huge difference. Online tutoring is flexible and accessible, and if your child is doing school entirely online due to COVID-19, online tutoring is a great addition to their schedule. Though many associate dyslexia only with difficulty reading, it can also impact a child's ability to understand math. A great tutor can help your kid succeed in every subject.
Tip #2: Support your child emotionally and socially, not just academically.
When you first learn that your son or daughter has dyslexia, you might begin worrying about school and academics, but it's important to remember that this learning disability will affect other aspects of your child's life as well. Kids with dyslexia tend to have more trouble expressing themselves. Your child might be hesitant to talk to peers, or make new friends. He might think there's something wrong with him or she might struggle with low self-esteem because her teachers are always telling her she isn't trying hard enough. Support your child emotionally by reinforcing that they are worthy. The emotional and social effects of dyslexia might even be worse for your child than the academic effects.
Tip #3: Review reading strategies at home.
Doing extra academic work at home will help your child stay ahead. Dyslexia makes it more difficult to decode during reading. Reviewing decoding skills and reading strategies at home will help your son or daughter succeed in reading. You may want to drill sight words at home if your child is young and still struggling to grasp simple words like be, but, and do. Take a few minutes every evening to do a little work with your kid and you'll see the positive effects.
Tip #4: Advocate for individualized instruction.
Kids with dyslexia need more individualized instruction. Without a diagnosis, it can be difficult for parents to get special services for their children, but once you have a confirmation of dyslexia from a professional, you should be able to successfully advocate for intervention services. Someone might pull your child out of class every day to review reading skills or content. He or she might receive services from a speech and language pathologist who can help your kid improve his or her language and social skills. Let the school know that you'd like more services for your child and they'll call a meeting to discuss options.
Tip #5: Find audiobooks for your child.
Chances are that your kid hates reading. He or she has probably never felt successful when reading, either in class or at home, so they might not want to practice reading at home. Finding your kid audiobooks will help them continue to read without the struggles. This can help keep up with expected school readings or just aid in igniting a love of literature that they've never felt before. Audiobooks could make a huge difference for your child.
A dyslexia diagnosis is not the end of the world. Understand what your child needs and help him or her succeed in every area of life. Your family will be cheering at his or her high school graduation in no time.
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