Reading will be the area where your child’s dyslexia is likely to have the most obvious impact. As your child reads books either at home or in school, your child will confront the dyslexia on a daily and ongoing basis. How can you help? In this post, I will give you some strategies for helping your dyslexic child read advanced books.
1) Repeat Repeat Repeat!
Ask your child to read the material, reread the material, talk to you about what he has just read, and then read it again. This strategy will help your child develop fluency and comprehension while reading. It also gives your dyslexic child a chance to work through areas of difficulty, gain confidence, speed and process words with automaticity.
2) Read the Book Yourself!
If your child is reading a novel or a work of literature, get a copy for yourself and read along so that you will be able to discuss the material with him. The fun part about this is that you will get to do some reading yourself and experience a whole world of literature together with your child.
3) Use Multisensory Methods!
Your dyslexic child will remember information best if he sees it, hears it, touches it and moves with it. Read a book, listen to the book on audio books and then see the movie. Most books exist on audiotape. You can check them out for free at your local library. If your child is reading a book about a police officer, make a visit to your local police station. If your child is reading about rocks, go to a museum where he can see and touch them.
4) Make Lists!
Making lists will keep your child engaged while reading. You can have your child make a list of each new character that he comes across while reading. Have him write down important facts or details about each character and the page number where this character was first introduced. You can also use lists of newly introduced vocabulary words. Explain any words that might be confusing to your child as you come across them. Write them down on the list. Go back and use them later on for review.
5) Use Post Its!
Your child can use these self-adhesive notes on various pages to identify important parts of the story and make it easier to go back to them for reference if needed. If you are preparing your child for the introduction of a new character, you might say, “Will is about to meet someone new in this section.” You can then have your child place the post it on the page where a new character enters the story.
6) Model Comprehension!
Use words and language to show your dyslexic child your own comprehension of what is going on. “So, Will is meeting up with a strange man in a dark place. That seems very mysterious to me. Let’s keep on reading to see what is going to happen next, I can’t wait.” Or, “Why do you think Will is so distrustful of his new friend? He seems nice enough. What do you think?”
7) Create a Visual Display!
Your dyslexic child most likely has troubles keeping historical facts in sequence. If you are reading a detailed and challenging book together with a lot of characters, a lot of historical facts, and just a lot going on, you might consider making a visual timeline. You and your child can create a timeline on a poster board that will chart these events. As you are reading the book together, you can both look on the timeline to keep dates, characters and events in prospective.
In my home, learning is a shared responsibility between my dyslexic child and me. It is my child’s job to do his best, and my job to give him the support he needs. This includes, reading the book ahead of time so that I can prepare myself, provide assistance before, during and after the reading and model good comprehension strategies with my child. If you enjoyed reading my post today, you might also enjoy reading: Dyslexic Characters in Children’s Books
Thank you for reading my post today!
Karina Richland, M.A., is the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers. Karina has an extensive background in working with students of all ages and various learning modalities. She has spent many years researching learning differences and differentiated teaching practices. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.pridereadingprogram.com