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Dyslexia Tips and Tricks for Teachers and Parents

Dyslexia is considered a language learning impairment and we see signs of dyslexia in at least 20% of our population. . While it is not curable, it is treatable when given the proper instruction and tools. Below, are some tips and tricks to working with students with dyslexia.

1. Explicit Instruction

Be precise in what you want the student to know. We cannot assume they already know how to do something or understand what we are asking. Explicit instruction involves modeling the desired outcome with clear steps and directions.

2. Cut Out Distractions

Often times, there is a link with dyslexia and ADHD. Cutting out distractions or noisy environments can helps students with dyslexia process information easier.

3. Be Adaptive

We know that not every kid learns the same or at the same speed. Find ways to be adaptive for students with dyslexia. Provide them extra time on work, writing lines to help with handwriting, or break down directions into single steps. Have a goal in mind but a successful route the student can take to reach it.

4. Praise the Work

Students' with dyslexia are well aware of the struggles they face in comparison to their classmates. Find ways to praise the progress they make without drawing lots of attention to them. Praising even the small achievements helps to boost a students' perception of being capable to learn.

5. Patience

Dyslexia is a language based learning impairment which means students struggle with reading and written expression. Their brain processes information a little different and sometimes these processes are delayed. Have patience with these students and help guide them to their learning rather than just giving them the answer.

6. Follow a Structure

Following a structure helps to organize learning in our long term memory. It is important to build foundational skills and then work up to more complex tasks. Determine the structure of what you want the student to know and set up a routine in order to teach it.

7. Recognize the Difference Between Lazy and Frustrated

Often times, when we see a student put their head down or refuse to do work, we say it is because they are lazy. But, student's with dyslexia may be doing this as a sign of frustration. Because of how the dyslexic brain processes information, it makes decoding very difficult and tasks can become overwhelming for these students.

8. Have Conversations

It is important to be able to have conversations with your students. It helps to build trust and communication. Talk with your students about how they are feeling, their goals or their struggles.

9. Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety is a common diagnosis we are seeing among students now. These feelings of anxiety can interfere with learning. Help to reduce anxiety by following a routine, so the student knows what to expect from day to day. Also, make sure to announce anything unexpected ahead of time, such as tests or visitors. You can help them find ways to cope with their anxiety such as breathing techniques or fidget tools.

10. Get Educated

Dyslexia is becoming more well-known world-wide. Stay up to date on all current dyslexia news and laws. Attend seminars, workshops, or trainings to better know how to work with student's with dyslexia.

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