What can I do at home to help my child?...
A child struggling with dyslexia can feel very frustrated. This may result in challenging behaviour or emotional withdrawal. Such reactions can affect learning even more and are upsetting for everybody.
A dyslexic child may be aware of not keeping up with other children and feel their work is inadequate: this makes school a very stressful experience. When helping your child at home, it’s hard not to make home feel just like school. This is important: your child is likely to resent giving up his/her free time for something they find so hard. One-to- one tuition, with a tutor or with a parent, can be very helpful as long as the child is happy to do this and feels it’s helping them learn useful strategies.
Try to build your child's confidence, by balancing praising efforts and strengths, with sensitive constructive criticism to help improve skills. Show you understand their difficulties, but know they can overcome when they learn and practise some brilliant strategies.
Some helpful websites
• Dyslexia Assist’s Children’s Page offers ideas and tips that others have found useful. You could look through them with your child so they can choose the ideas they would like to try. To go to the Children’s Tips and Ideas click here.
• The Parent Champion website has some ‘Top Tips’ for spelling, reading, memory and organisation explained by a teacher and mum Julianne Miller. Watch the clips by clicking here.
If you use Face Book there are some closed groups that you can join that aim to help children and relatives to cope with the challenges that comes with dyslexia and related issues. A post to the group can put you in touch with others that have had the same experience, there are also professionals who are members that can be very helpful and useful documents to download from the files on the FB page. Dyslexia support UK (Operation Diversity) and Dyslexia support UK
Understood.org has some useful tips for helping Your Child Cope With Anger and Frustration, click here to read.
Danny from My Parenting Journal shared with us their post with useful tips for helping your child control anger, click here to read.
Stickman is a cool and light-hearted yet true-to-life approach to disability and neurodiversity. Using simple phrases to break down barriers that challenge preconceptions, promote understanding and acceptance, and enable communication. There are key ring cards, badges and books that you might find useful. Click here to find out more...
There are life coaches that specialise in helping manage the challenges of dyslexia and highlight strengths to help with self-esteem. At The Life Coach Directory all listed coaches have provided qualifications, insurance cover or proof of membership with a professional body, you should first make sure you feel comfortable with their approach.
How you react to test results and end of term reports may have a big impact on your child’s motivation and self-esteem. We know it is hard to always say the ‘right thing’ ; to find some tips take a look at the scenarios form Understood by clicking here .
Rehearsing common situations that your child finds difficult in school this might help them self-advocate so that they do not feel they have to hide or be embarrassed. For example if your child has difficulty copying from the board they could explain to the teacher at the end of the class that it takes them longer to do this than other children and ask for a paper copy to put in their folder. If your child finds it difficult to read out loud they can politely ask if it is ok not read today and if they could speak to the teacher at the end of the class; they can then explain how this makes them feel and ask the teacher for preparation time with the passage before reading in front of the class. Understood has some other good tips, take a look by clicking here
Conversation cards may be useful to help children talk about Dyslexia. Fink cards contacted us and have kindly allowed us to share some samples on the website. The cards focus on looking at problems from a different light, thinking about dyslexia in a balanced way, seeing the benefits as well as some of the problems.To read more click here.
kooth.com is a free, safe and anonymous online support for young people providing counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop and free at the point of use. Provided by XenZone it is approved and provides NHS services too.
A friend of Dyslexia Assist John Hicks is a life style coach runs a face book group called parentingdyslexia.co.uk This was some sound advice given to one of our parents that could be useful: 'Sometimes saying something just to make our kids feel better can have the opposite effect. Giving them space to vent (albeit hard) might make a difference as they will feel listened to. Those emotions need to come out and just by being there listening may well pay dividends. It says that it is ok to feel bad about something once vented they may be ready to focus on dealing with those emotions. In my family this could take quite a while before my daughter started to feel a bit better and find ways to move forward.'
John also has an excellent article to explore our feelings of guilt, perhaps because of bed decisions you feel you have made for you child and suggest some ways in which we can be released from feeling guilty so that we can have every chance of providing the best support for our children. Click here to read.
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy. It has a structured way of challenging unhelpful generalisations that children or teenagers might have about their world or their abilities. Gemma Bailey a NLP practitioner has kindly shared her tips for helping with your child’s self-esteem. To find out more about Gemma’s work go to nlp4kids.org
Put yourself in your child’s shoes. For example, think of the processes you child may have to go through to answer the question, ‘What did you do at school today?’. Hear, look, listen, concentrate, remember the words, understand the words, remember what they did that day to give them ideas what to say, decide which specifics to recount, use the right words, put the words into a sentence. It might be seem straight forward but remember is could be difficult for a tired child at the end of a long day they may have struggled with.
Sarah Gillie a friend of Dyslexia Assist has some fantastic free resources on her website, her aim is to provide individuals, parents and teachers with tools to support learning at home, school or beyond, to level the playing field for neurodiverse learners. Click here to view the downloads.
We have put together some books parents have recommeded to read together that can help them understand and explain dyslexia. Also some motivatonal pictures! The kids blogs page might also be helpful.
Stickmancommunications.co.uk is a cool and light-hearted yet true-to-life approach to disability and neurodiversity. Using simple phrases to break down barriers that challenge preconceptions, promote understanding and acceptance, and enable communication. There are key ring cards, badges and books that you might find useful.