Parents of children with a recent diagnosis of dyslexia often struggle in how to best support their child in ways that are helpful but not counter-productive. The fact that you care enough to look into this means you’re a good parent, so relax on that score. Lucky for us, there are so many resources out there to utilize that can help your child or loved one with dyslexia. It’s just a matter of choosing the resources that fit your family and individual situation.
Dyslexia is often misunderstood. Those that don’t have it think it’s just “difficulty reading”, but it’s more complex than that. People with a diagnosis of dyslexia have difficulty with phonology, or the breaking down of letters into their phonetic form, making it difficult to sound out words. This can make it hard for the dyslexic person to retrieve words from memory, read them aloud, or write them. Some dyslexic children only have a problem with one of these; some have problems with all three.
But don’t despair. Resources abound to help children and adults alike with dyslexia, in the form of books, online courses, apps, tutors and speech pathologists, and more.
One of the most helpful forms of support that many parents find useful are books for dyslexia – no matter what age or reading level your child is, you can find books that are suited to their particular strengths, weaknesses and grade level. They can be audiobooks, books with larger print, phonetically-broken down books and several other options.
If your child needs more concentrated help, you can employ the assistance of a speech pathologist, special needs teacher or even a therapist/counselor in some cases. Usually, especially if it involves your child’s school, you’ll need an IEP or letter of diagnosis from the child’s pediatrician or therapist. These are easy to obtain and schools are adept at handling them. Getting a plan in place as soon as possible so your school can accommodate your child’s needs is the most important thing. If your child is still struggling, even with an IEP in place and accomodations being offered, you might consider signing your child up for tutoring, or working with them at home via the use of an app or software designed for dyslexic students.
Regardless of what measures you take to help accommodate your child, the important thing is that they feel supported and loved. Dyslexia doesn’t have to be a sign of failure. Many – in fact, most – dyslexic children grow up to be adults who have conquered their learning disability and are functioning members of society, spanning across every career you can think of, and more and more people in business are starting to make their work environments more accessible for differently abled people.
All dyslexia means is that it’s a little harder for them to sound out words, but just as with any other learning disability, this can be overcome with the right resources, accomodations, understanding and love from an advocating parent.