- Zulfikar Dhanse
Home and classroom adjustment for children with Dyslexia
Keyword; Reasonable adjustments for dyslexia
Dyslexia parents genuinely understand the need to support a child beyond the scope of school and that the challenges don't stop when the child's school day ends. Sometimes the child is embarrassed to read aloud at home or struggles to keep up with homework. Maybe you've noticed that your once-outgoing child has become withdrawn and repellent to participate in family activities. Whichever the problem, helping your child feel comfortable and confident at home is part of reasonable adjustment for dyslexia and will go a long way in ensuring the child's overall success both at home and school. Here are some tips to help your child with dyslexia feel more at home:
Buy the AAC device
One recommended way to help your child with dyslexia at home is to get an AAC device. An AAC device is an assistive technology tool that can help your child with dyslexia to communicate more effectively. An example of an AAC device is a text reader, which can auto-read text aloud to your child. This can be extremely helpful for their homework and everyday tasks, such as reading a bedtime story. The child no longer needs to worry about not seeing or pronouncing the words correctly. Another AAC device that can be very helpful is a talking dictionary. A digital dictionary can be used to look up words your child is struggling with reading, pronounce the word for your child and provide a definition. This approach can be constructive for homework and general reading comprehension.
Use large print for essential papers, assignments, and signs
This one is an easy and reasonable adjustment for dyslexia, and it can make a big difference for your child - Make sure that any critical papers or assignments that come home from school are in large print. This approach will make them much easier for your child to read without strain. You can talk to the class teacher about this, and they will likely be happy to oblige. You can also look for large print versions of books in the bookshop, the library, or online. In addition, put up any vital signs around the house (for example, the bathroom or bedroom door) in large print. This will help your child to find their way around the house more quickly.
Provide breaks as needed
This one applies to teachers as well as parents. It's important to remember that children with dyslexia often need more breaks than other children. This is because the constant effort of trying to read can be very tiring. When your child is doing homework or even just reading for pleasure, make sure to provide plenty of breaks. A good thumb rule is to allow a five-minute break for every twenty minutes of reading. During the break, your child can get up and move around, have a snack, or do something else they enjoy. This practice will help keep your child from getting overwhelmed or frustrated.
Even a tiny amount of reading progress is worth celebrating. Give plenty of praise when your child reads a sentence correctly or figures out a tricky word. This will help to encourage your child and keep them motivated. You can also provide positive reinforcement in the form of rewards. For instance, you can allow your child to choose a unique activity for thirty minutes after finishing homework. The unique activity could be playing a favorite game, watching a TV show, or reading a favorite book. Whatever the activity, make sure it is something that your child enjoys. Positive reinforcement is very effective in helping children with dyslexia to make progress and is one of the reasonable adjustments for dyslexia.
Help your child learn compensatory skills
Compensatory skills are strategies children with dyslexia can use to help them read more effectively. Some compensatory skills include using a finger to follow along as text is being read or reading aloud to oneself. These skills can be beneficial for children with dyslexia, as they provide a way to work around the difficulty in reading. Other compensatory skills include using a dictionary or text-to-speech software to look up words or listening to audio-books instead of reading printed books. The point is there are many different compensatory skills that your child can learn, and each one can be beneficial. Talk to your child's teacher or a reading specialist to see what they recommend.
Enough light in the reading room
This one sounds apparent, but it's crucial. Many children with dyslexia have difficulty seeing the words on the page. And without proper lighting, this problem can become even worse. Ensure plenty of light in the room whenever your child is reading or doing homework. This adjustment will help them to see the words more clearly, and make it easier to read. If it's at night and there's not enough light from the lamp, consider turning on an extra light or two. Ensure the light is not too sharp, as this can cause problems.
Use a colored overlay when reading
A colored overlay is a piece of plastic or paper placed over the text when reading. It can help to reduce glare and make the words on the page more visible. Many children with dyslexia find that using a colored overlay makes reading much more effortless. You can also consider using high-contrast papers when printing text for your child to read. This means using a dark-colored font on a light-colored background. This adjustment can also help to make the words more visible and easier to read. Ensure your child receives their test and other readings with high contrast options at school. This approach removes the bias some texts have, making them difficult for dyslexic individuals to read.
There are many reasonable adjustments for dyslexia, but a lot is simply finding out what works best for your child, so don't be afraid to experiment a bit. And most importantly, make sure to give plenty of encouragement and support. Your child can achieve great things, despite the challenges of dyslexia. Do you have any other tips for helping children with dyslexia?
AAAbbbot. (2020). Dyslexia friendly books. Retrieved from; https://aaabbott.co.uk/large-print-dyslexia-friendly-books/
Lingraphica. (n.a). AAC device. Retrieved from; https://www.aphasia.com/aac-devices/what-is-an-aac-device/