Dyslexia is one of the most recent terms in our education system that has caught our attention. It is a problem in learning to read and that is very common among children and adults. While many parents/teachers look forward to teaching children to read, for dyslexic children the experience might be different. It makes it challenging for students to read quickly, automatically and recall spoken words.
My experience as a teacher has given me the opportunity to dive more deeply into this topic. Every year I receive students with different academic needs. As an educator who truly cares about my students well-being, recognizing those needs is vital. For example, First grade is such a crucial year for the students’ education journey because they are not only adapting to a new structure of content and curriculum, but also this is the grade level where they are academically challenged and expected to read.
Many times, students with dyslexia have trouble matching the letters they see and the sound it corresponds to. As a result, the rest of the reading process becomes more difficult. Also, Dyslexic students struggle to read with fluency, spell words, and learn a second language.
Students who are dyslexic are not different from the rest. They are children who laugh, cry, experience fear, but more importantly, they have a story and a reason for being the way they are. Besides, one of the things I have learned as an educator is that children are doing the best they can with what they know. Understanding children is not as difficult as we sometimes think.
It is important to note that dyslexia is considered a disability, However, I believe is not a disability but instead a difference in a way of learning. As an educator I must provide different types of support and accommodations to better assist my students.
Here is what to look for in the earliest years of your child’s education:
- Trouble learning nursery rhymes
- Difficulty remembering the names of letters in the alphabet
- Does not recognize rhyming patterns (cat, rat, bat)
- Mispronounces familiar words
- Has difficulty sounding simple words
- Difficulty with spelling/ Decoding/ writing
- Lack of reading comprehension
It is important to be vigilant of child’s struggles and voice concerns with your pediatrician. The sooner a specialist screens your child, the faster the assistance that can be provided. However, here are some tips that can be implemented at home to create a strong foundation in reading.
- Speak slowly and clearly
- Overstress sounds
- Read daily and select books in which your child is interested
- Build their vocabulary by teaching new words
- Rhyming games
However, it is important to recognize that slow reading does not indicate slow thinking. Dyslexia is based on visible tasks such as reading and spelling. On the other hand, the same student has unobservable strengths in imagining and reasoning. Many times, Dyslexic students have qualities that are overlooked.
- Comprehension of stories being read
- Enjoys solving puzzles
- Larger vocabulary
- Good understanding of new concepts
- Gets the Gist of things
You may be dyslexic if you…
Read Slowly and with much effort…. Are often the ones to solve the problem
Can’t Spell, have messy handwriting…. Show imagination in writing
Have trouble remembering dates and names…. Think out of the box
Have difficulty retrieving spoken words…. Have excellent vocabulary ideas