Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tips for working with the minds of dyslexia

I am working and working to get curriculum and thoughts in order. My brain is getting very cluttered! So I thought I would de-clutter one matter/ share some research here :-)

As you (and I) prepare our outlines for the coming school year I felt this info would be helpful to consider if you have, or suspect you have, a dyslexic child. These helpful tips are taken from an article by Maria Filomena Teixeira at Dyslexia Teacher.

- If your child asks how something works (that you are using) avoid the temptation to lecture about it. Instead, use it and say, "Watch!". Dyslexics learn more from watching and exploring than they do from listening to you explain it.

- "For these children, the brain is not neatly divided into two areas, which can separate and deal with stimuli. Mixed dominance is characteristic of dyslexia. For a person with mixed dominance, merely listening, reading and writing do not accomplish learning effectively."

- We must incorporate as many senses as possible when teaching any concept. Think tactile.

- Look for patterns and encourage self expression.

- "The process of learning is not just logical, it is sensual. It is up to us to see to it that the stimuli we present have personal meaning."

- Bring the real world into the classroom.

- "There is no love in workbooks and no personal meaning in a sentence made up by the teacher and copied off the chalkboard by the children. In essence, a holistic approach is needed to ensure that the best possible attempt has been made to ensure the fullest level of understanding." I find unit studies to be priceless in this regard.

- Dyslexia affects more than just reading. Be conscientious of this. Research and know what you can do to assist other weak areas.

- Know your child's learning style... this is true with all children and especially so with dyslexics.

- Teach them to use logic rather than rote memory. Short-term and long-term memory are areas of weakness for dyslexics. Most do have healthy intelligence so appeal to their logic side!

- Present material sequentially and build up slowly step by step.

- Dyslexics "remember best when facts and experiences are connected with one another and when the material is presented in small units. 'Less is better'"

- Encourage them to practice and every time you start a lesson (you) keep side notes to incorporate in a review. (I like to make small flash cards to be used in a homemade board game for review. If you want info on this, message and let me know!)

- Organization is NOT a strong suit of dyslexics. Keep this in mind, be sensitive to their emotional climate, and just take time to laugh and enjoy each other!

There is a lot of good information at this website I found these tips from. However, I do prefer the Davis Method for therapy and teaching techniques for their more thorough approach. You can purchase, The Gift of Dyslexia by Ronald D. Davis to get the step-by-step methods of this approach as well as some great info on Dyslexia (an in-depth article is coming soon!) Mnemonics work ok for mild to moderate dyslexics but not always well for the more severely diagnosed.

Most importantly, LDonline recommends that parents become experts on the gift of dyslexia. I have resources linked on my main page and I am continually reading books and searching out more information. Check back often and ask questions if you need or can't find something I will be happy to share what I know or help you find what I don't!

Happy teachings everyone!


  1. Thanks! As mentioned mine are APD not Dyslexic but it has some similar symptoms. I also like to keep up on what other mums are dealing with and finding out. I reckon one day I will find my niche helping new mums when my home schooling days are done.

  2. Yes, you are right, the two do mimic each other. I have occasionally wondered if I am wrong about B having APD but then I see those few signs that aren't related and think of how he was almost def when he was little and I know my assessment of his challenges is correct. You are a good mum to be in tune to your children's needs and searching out the info that can help.

    I have some more info on APD started on a blog but I am having a hard time keeping it short and comprehensive! What I have written (and saved) so far is all jumbled :-( I may need to post a few related blogs on it so the information is more easily digested.

    I hope to go through my APD info tomorrow sometime and organize a starter blog so I can get at least one post up for you and others out there looking for more info on APD! I can add to it after that.

    The dyslexia post here was a need to get my thoughts out of my head while I am trying to organize a comprehensive schedule for this year!! My brain is wayyyy to cluttered! The Davis Program I am planning to do with B and Ash has me nervous and consumed! There are a lot of steps in the initial therapy session and I hope to issue them without confusing them (and me!). Subsequent sessions should be much easier but laying the ground work will relieve a lot of stress from this mom!

    Keep checking back, APD is coming soon :-)