Reading Strategies for Dyslexia

reading strategies for dyslexiaTiger Tuesday helps dyslexic kids learn to read!

Dyslexia, a common reading disorder affecting as much as 17% of the population, can affect a child’s performance in every class, even math and science. Reading is a basic skill for school success from the primary grades on through college.

All of school can be a struggle for children who can’t read. However, dyslexic children canlearn to read and do well in school if they’re provided with appropriate reading strategies for dyslexia.

The Tiger Tuesday Multisensory Interactive Reading Program provides fun activities with the reading strategies for dyslexia that kids need.

What is Dyslexia?

Children struggle with reading for many reasons. Many of these children aren’t dyslexic. Dyslexia isn’t reading backwards. It’s not a visual problem. It’s not associated with a low IQ. Many people with dyslexia are highly intelligent. Dyslexic children aren’t stupid or lazy.

According the International Dyslexia Association, “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. [It] typically results from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction.”

In other words, children with dyslexia have a difficult time recognizing the sound of letters and combinations of letters called phonemes. Learning phonics is more than the 26 letters of the alphabet.

Within our complex language, vowel blends, vowel digraphs, vowel-consonant blends, and special rules change the normal sounds of the familiar sounds of the alphabet.

To summarize, dyslexia is an auditory-related neurological problem. It is often genetic. Children with dyslexia may have one or two parents who are also dyslexic.

Symptoms of Dyslexia

• Difficulty learning the alphabet.

• Speech and language problems.

• Difficulty rhyming words.

• Difficulty associating a sound with its written symbol.

• Skips words or puts in extra words when reading.

• Changes words when reading.

• Guesses wildly at words.

• Reads a word correctly several times on a page, but then forgets it seconds later.

• Reads slowly and with great difficulty.

• Weak vocabulary.

• Poor comprehension.

• Good comprehension, but difficulty with reading.

• Cries or becomes upset when asked to read.

These symptoms can also be symptoms of other reading disorders such as specific reading comprehension deficit.  If a parent or teacher suspects that a child has dyslexia, testing for the disorder is recommended.

Different reading disorders require different interventions. A child might appear to have dyslexia or a reading comprehension deficit but needs glasses.

How is Dyslexia Diagnosed?

Teachers and parents can recognize symptoms that could be dyslexia but only a psychologist or other qualified professional can make the diagnosis. The tests are standardized and reliable.

Once that diagnosis is made, a child may be eligible for an IEP and/or a 504 Plan.

Reading Strategies for Dyslexia for Parents

  • Get an Evaluation by the school or a qualified professional outside of the school. (Under certain circumstances, the district will pay for outside testing.) Be sure to get a thorough diagnosis so that the correct learning strategies are used.
  • Learn about options. If your child is classified as dyslexic or learning disabled, learn about classes and modifications available.  You can get information from your state education department. Also, contact the International Dyslexia Association or Everyone Reading for advice.
  • Ask the school for audio books. This can help middle and high-school students when reading literature, history and science books.
  • Research and read about dyslexia. Make sure that the information defines dyslexia as a neurological-auditory disorder. You’ll find information online and in books to help dyslexic students.
  • Ask your child’s teachers and school specialists for strategies that you can use at home and in school. For example, dyslexic children perform more successfully on written essays and oral presentations than on multiple-choice or rote-memorization exams.
  • Dyslexia tutoring. Hire a qualified reading tutor, one with an Orton-Gillingham multisensory and phonics background, with whom your child is comfortable. Strong Learning offers qualified tutoring in the greater New York City area, Boston, and parts of Connecticut.
  • Play games. Help your child learn phonics by playing games such as Memory, Go Fish, War and Old Maid. You can find these Phonics Card Games at the Strong Learning Store.
  • Improve fluency. Read easy-to-read books with your child, one or two levels below her grade level. Another good idea is to use computerized books or read-along books and audio to help improve fluency. Also, read poems and/or plays over and over again.
  • Be patient. Be sure to give your child adequate time. Those with reading problems tend to need more time than the average reader because they use different neural paths when decoding. Although they will eventually read, and may even become great readers, they will still need extra time.

Famous People with Dyslexia

Many people with dyslexia lead normal lives and can exceed in their chosen field.

A few of the many famous people past and present with dyslexia or patterns suggesting dyslexia include: Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Henry Ford, Ted Turner, Walt Disney, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, John F. Kennedy, and George Washington.

Phonics Centered — Consistent with Orton-Gillingham — Multisensory