4 ways to help your dyslexic child cope with reading

These tips will help your child have a more enjoyable learning experience with words.

What do former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs and Tom Cruise have in common besides being famous personalities? Answer: dyslexia, a condition where a person has difficulties reading, writing and spelling, but which does not affect general intelligence.

Watching your child struggle with the academic curriculum at a slower pace than his or her peers is painful. But you’re not alone. A Today Online report noted that the prevalence of dyslexia amongst the school-going population in Singapore is estimated to be between four to 10 percent — which means that in a classroom of 40 students, there will likely be one or two who have dyslexia.

Yet, school isn’t the only place where kids can learn to read and write. These fun, tried-and-tested strategies will help parents make the learning journey a more enjoyable one for children with dyslexia — and go a long way in easing their academic frustrations.

1. Create a reading space

Create a dedicated reading spot for your child, whether it is a bench in the garden or an armchair in your child’s room. Ensure that the space has good lighting and a comfortable ambience as it will help your child to associate peace and comfort with reading.

2. Add reading variety

Introduce a variety of book genres and mediums to your child, from comic books and graphic novels to tablet apps and e-books. Younger children have pop-up books, textured books and even books with different sounds to help entice them to read. Illustrated books bring stories to life and break long sentences into bite-sized, manageable segments. Meanwhile, e-books often encourage interaction with readers, gamifying the reading experience and making it more exciting for reluctant readers.

3. Build a fun, interactive routine

Reading and writing is often difficult and stressful for children with dyslexia. Consequently, they read less. To build their reading and writing skills and improve their ability to focus, establish a reading routine of about 30 minutes a day. When teaching or helping your dyslexic child with homework, help him or her process words using phonics flash cards. Additionally, don’t forget that reading does not need to revolve around books only. To help reduce the stress your dyslexic child may feel when reading, make reading fun and a part of daily life. It could be as basic as reading road signs and recipes, playing simple word games such as hangman, or having a fun visit to the library.

4. Listen to audiobooks

A dyslexic child’s listening comprehension may be stronger than their reading comprehension. Encourage your child to listen to audiobooks — for example, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid audiobook series is aimed at dyslexic children aged seven and older. It will help him or her better understand what they are reading, instead of just decoding words on a page. By making the reading and learning process easier, you will be able to unlock the magical world of stories for your child so he or she can experience the joys of getting lost in a good book while also improving their language skills. Audiobooks can be borrowed from the National Library of Singapore, and it even has a audiobook section that you can access from home.

Click here to help your child achieve his or her education milestones.

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