What is Dyslexia? What can we do to help?


Dyslexia is an inherited brain condition that is a difference in the wiring of the brain. It is one of the most common learning disabilities.
Dyslexia is a language based disability in basic reading and spelling. The difficulties are related to the connection between sounds and written letters. Cutting up words (decoding) knowing individual words, poor reading fluency and spelling weaknesses are the symptoms of dyslexia. Children with dyslexia can also have difficulties in reading comprehension, vocabulary and written language in varying degrees.

What can we do to help children with dyslexia?

Teaching phonological awareness skills, phonics and fluency strategies helps to activate the brain in the area that is underdeveloped. There are computer programs that are used to develop brain pathways, such as:



  I have seen good results with both programs.


In order to improve results, teaching must be intense, explicit and systematic with strategies to meet individual needs. The approach must be multi-sensory, meaning that the child must use hearing, seeing and touching activities to learn.  Use lots of revision and close monitoring  to make certain that the work is consolidated and, only then,  move on to the next aspect of learning.

What can we do to help children with dyslexia?

Comprehension activities must be taught in the same way. Children with dyslexia are able to comprehend using contextual clues in longer passages due to the information surrounding the meaning of the piece of reading. However, when a written Math instruction, that is concise and explicit, is given,these children have difficulty because there are insufficient clues to help them gain meaning.

Common Strengths

For some time I have been tutoring a severely dyslexic boy . We began our journey when he was in about Year Two. It was a little late to begin the intensive journey. However, we began and now I am so thankful for the opportunity to help him in so many ways. BUT the biggest learning curve has been for me in learning that these children have so many characteristics that are often overlooked but are so necessary in today’s workforce.

Persistent, innovative, imaginative, creative, inquisitive, resourceful, resilient, inventive, good at seeing the big picture, problem solvers, out of the box thinkers, strong verbal communicators are just a few of the characteristics that these children bring to their work.

We must also remember the entrepreneurs that have brought enlightenment to the world.  Nothing could have stopped Richard Branson from reaching his potential, not even the fact that he had dyslexia.

My message to all parents is to seek expert support early and support your child in creating a brighter future.

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