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What Are the Best Tips for Students with Dyslexia?

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  • Written By: A.M. Boyle
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2016
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There are various activities, programs, and exercises to assist students in overcoming the perception and comprehension issues often stemming from dyslexia. Using phonics as a teaching method can help considerably with reading comprehension. Multisensory games and tasks can help the student get his or her senses working together, a key factor in overcoming dyslexia. Instructors can make modifications with regard to a student’s classwork and homework schedules so as to accommodate the challenges of dyslexia. Emotional support and encouragement are also important in helping students with dyslexia understand and cope with the condition.

Dyslexia is a learning disability that can greatly impede an individual’s ability to read, write, and spell. Students with dyslexia can be affected in various degrees and in different ways, so the first tip in coping with the condition is to identify its nature and extent. For instance, one student might have difficulty matching sounds to written letters, while another could have difficulty distinguishing the sounds themselves. Once the specific symptoms are identified, teachers can design a program to target the specific areas the student has the most difficulty with.

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Oftentimes, students with dyslexia reverse the order of letters and thus have difficulty reading words. One tip for dealing with this issue is the use of phonics to help the student distinguish word sounds regardless of how they perceive the letters themselves. By using a phonics approach, the student begins to associate and recognize word sounds with particular letter groupings. This, in turn, increases his or her reading comprehension.

Listening to books on tape while following along with written material can also help students with dyslexia connect words and letter groupings to specific sounds. Similarly, using image association with word groupings can greatly increase a student’s reading comprehension. For instance, illustrating words or sentences helps students with dyslexia associate letter and word arrangements with particular concepts and thus increase reading comprehension.

The root cause of dyslexia often involves the inability of sight, sound, speech, and touch to work together. Consequently, several programs have been developed to help students with dyslexia get their senses and skills working in unison. These multisensory programs use games and activities designed to have the student simultaneously hear, say, see, and do a particular task. Using exercises of this nature allows the student to train his or her senses to cooperate, which is a key step in dealing with dyslexia.

When a student is diagnosed with dyslexia, every effort should be made to coordinate his or her educational goals. Teachers should be brought on board so that they are familiar with the student’s particular difficulties and are willing to make accommodations to classwork or homework schedules. For instance, if a student has difficulty reading a test and writing the answers, the teacher might be willing to administer the test verbally. Similarly, some students with dyslexia might have less difficulty typing on a keyboard than writing longhand, and a teacher should be willing to accommodate that student by allowing the use of a keyboard for important tasks and note-taking. As many students who have dyslexia tire easily because of the concentration and effort required to complete certain tasks, frequent breaks and smaller blocks of work can greatly help the student succeed.

Finally, because dyslexia can have a negative impact on a person’s confidence and self-esteem, students with dyslexia should be offered ongoing positive support. Dyslexia can make even simple tasks seem overwhelming and frustrating, so it is important that students be treated with respect, patience, and encouragement. Dyslexia is generally a lifelong condition, but with proper guidance and support, students can develop the self-confidence and coping skills necessary to overcome it.

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