Helping Children Cope with America’s Common Learning Disability

Usually seen as a problem with language skills such as reading, dyslexia is a reasonably common disability among America’s population. And since reading and writing is prevalent throughout a student’s academic years, from kindergarten to graduation, those affected with dyslexia often find themselves unable to progress through their academic success. There are many ways people and parents can help, like tweaking the learning methods to suit their needs or hiring tutors with valid credentials like the Orton-Gillingham certification. Severe cases will involve special accommodations and even extra services, although the disability impacts people in different ways throughout their lives.

It has been estimated that around 5-15 per cent of Americans, both children as well as adults, have been diagnosed with dyslexia. Neuroscientific research has opened the medical community to peek into the complex issues of the brain rather than label such children as inappropriate for learning. But even then, there are still miles of research left to set a solid foundation to help those in need.

The reason why dyslexia is a major issue is that the majority of an American’s livelihood depends on both reading and writing. If they can’t do both reasonably well, chances are they’ll be ineligible for many employment opportunities without fair consideration.

What Can Parents Do Help Their Children?

There are plenty of things that both parents and teachers can do well to help dyslexic kids get a strong footing when it comes to their education:

  1. Understand The Severity Of The Disability: Most dyslexic students have minor symptoms, whereas some are severely affected and need special care. It all depends upon the individual, and the first thing to do is to analyse the symptoms. Common symptoms are highlighted below:
  • Reading skills and level of writing falls short of what is expected of their age.
  • Cannot link sounds with meanings or symbols.
  • Has trouble writing and cannot grasp proper spelling.
  • Low self-esteem issues and lack of organisational skills.

Stressed out all the time and unable to plan or manage time.

  1. Find New Ways To Teach Them: Following the traditional teaching method is not recommended here and, in any case, may make things worse. Special arrangements may be needed to help the kids, including hiring qualified instructors with qualifications like the Orton-Gillingham certification. Teachers can help kids derive meaning through other ways like decoding or intensive comprehension. Some of the most common accommodations taken for dyslexic students include: 
  • Giving them an extra hour for tests and quizzes.
  • Preparing them a safe space to learn and work.
  • Alternating written answers with verbal wherever feasible.
  • Allowing lectures or classes to be recorded so students can watch them at their own time and pace.
  1. Getting Rid Of The Stigma: Being young, children can often feel alienated for being different. Teach them that it’s okay to be dyslexic and that many prominent figures have been diagnosed with dyslexia. Help them build their confidence and self-image by allowing them to join or participate in whatever they like, whether sports or music. Emotional support can go a long way in helping them cope and let them know that there’s nothing to fear or be ashamed of.

Audiobooks have also been found to be very effective for those who find it hard to pay attention in class. Don’t forget the magic of digital technology as tablets and computers can help bolster the learning process and make it fun too! Websites, applications, forums, communities, video games and plenty of other resources are available for free online for parents of dyslexic students to take full advantage of and help their kids.