Dyslexia, or developmental dyslexia, is a condition in which a person has difficulty with word recognition, reading, writing, and concentration. Researchers estimate that up to eleven percent of school-aged children in the United States have some level of dyslexia.
If you have a dyslexic child, there are many things you can do at home to help him or her, starting with gathering as much information as you can about dyslexia. The more informed you are, the more you can do to help. Here are some other ideas to consider when dealing with a dyslexic child:
Provide emotional support by building a positive atmosphere. A dyslexic child often feels anxious and needs frequent reassurance from a loving parent. Make sure you encourage him through the difficulties and build his self-esteem by providing him with chances to shine in other areas outside the academic environment. Play up your child's natural abilities, be they sports, art, or video games. Emphasize the importance of other skills and make sure your child understands that grades are not the ultimate measure of his value.
Focus on reading as a game rather than a chore. Read to your dyslexic child every chance you get, from traffic signs to labels to books and magazines. Point out new words and make spelling them part of the game. There are many books available that emphasize alliteration and rhyme, and they can be an excellent addition to your household. Above all, become a role model by showing your child that reading is enjoyable.
A dyslexic child usually needs more attention and help with homework than other children do. A dyslexic child also needs more frequent breaks. Pay attention and encourage "breathing time" when you see your child starting to get anxious and overly distracted. Use these breaks to play word games or encourage other activities, but don't overdo it. Too much extra work can make a child with dyslexia feel overwhelmed and result in frustration and resentment.