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Charity No. 1144208

"Because special people need to be taught in a special way"


What is it?

The brain collects all of the messages from all your senses (seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting), then uses them like clues to work out what is happening all around you.
If someone has dyslexia, some of the seeing and hearing messages get muddled up, and the brain can’t work things out correctly.
This means that the person feels confused trying to work out what are the right messages.
Dyslexia literally means having trouble with reading, but the word is often used for other problems such as spelling problems or trouble with maths.
People who have dyslexia are usually as smart as others in their class or may be smarter than others, so it is really frustrating for them to have problems in reading, spelling, listening and understanding.


Classroom teachers may not be able to determine if a child has dyslexia. They may detect early signs that suggest further assessment by a psychologist or other health professional in order to actually diagnose the disorder. Letter and number reversals are the most common warning sign. Such reversals are fairly common up to the age of 7 or 8 and usually diminish by that time. If they do not, it may be appropriate to test for dyslexia or other learning problems. Difficulty copying from the board or a book can also suggest problems. There may be a general disorganization of written work. A child may not be able to remember content, even if it involves a favorite video or storybook. Problems with spatial relationships can extend beyond the classroom and be observed on the playground. The child may appear to be uncoordinated and have difficulty with organized sports or games. Difficulty with left and right is common, and often dominance for either hand has not been established. In the early grades, music and dance are often used to enhance academic learning. Children with dyslexia can have difficulty moving to the rhythm of the music.
Auditory problems in dyslexia encompass a variety of functions. Commonly, a child may have difficulty remembering or understanding what he hears. Recalling sequences of things or more than one command at a time can be difficult. Parts of words or parts of whole sentences may be missed, and words can come out sounding funny. The wrong word or a similar word may be used instead. Children struggling with this problem may know what they want to say but have trouble finding the actual words to express their thoughts.
Many subtle signs can be observed in children with dyslexia. Children may become withdrawn and appear to be depressed. They may begin to act out, drawing attention away from their learning difficulty. Problems with self-esteem can arise, and peer and sibling interactions can become strained. These children may lose their interest in school-related activities and appear to be unmotivated or lazy. The emotional symptoms and signs are just as important as the academic and require equal attention.

Parent’s tips

Support children by reading to them, reading with them, helping them to write and encouraging literature. Encourage children by using everyday routines, continuously pointing out letters and finger writing them.
Use children’s favourite hobbies and likes and encourage literature through it.

Teacher’s tips

If the tests show that the child has dyslexia, there are special programs that you he/she can do at home and at school to help learn and cope.
If they are having trouble copying things off the board, you may provide the instructions on a piece of paper.
The child may prefer to do some of their work on a computer.
Correct Pencil Grip
· use a normal tripod grip wherever possible but if the writing is reasonable do not change the grip and do not change the hand!
· consider using different pencils. There are many on the market which assist a good grip and stop the child’s fingers from slipping down the shaft when they become sweaty e.g. Faber & Castel grip 2001 or Pilot Super Grips and Renegrade
· consider using different pens with grips e.g. Lamy pens or using roller balls or gel ink pens instead e.g. Lamy, Sensa or Pilot (especially good are BPDG 70R grip pen, BLG 207 and Super Grip)

How to give the child instructions:
· break down instructions so that only 2 – 3 are given at one time
· ask the child to repeat instructions before completing them
· when copying from the board teach the child to copy only 3 – 4 words at a time – it may help to leave an extra space after every 3 -4 words or use different colours
· when copying from text, cover all work apart from those words being copied
· when giving dictation, only say a few words at a time

How to assist with self organisation:
· ask the child to write down instructions to be remembered
· have a prep diary
· have a buddy who the child could go to for help
· have an alarm clock or watch with an alarm on it so that the child remembers to go to specific lessons
· have a daily tick off sheet of jobs that need to be remembered to do or items to be taken home or brought back
· use colour codes for different subjects
· when children are having to take books from one class to another group the text book and exercise book in one folder or box file and use different colours for different subjects


Understanding Dyslexia –