Parenting a child with dyslexia has some challenges, one of the most overlooked of these challenges is often the child's struggle with executive functions. Executive functions and self-regulation skills depend on three types of brain function: working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control. These functions are highly interrelated, and the successful application of executive function skills requires them to operate in coordination with each other. (as noted at Wikipedia)
As many of us have learned ourselves, as we developed these skill necessary to reach our own goals as adults throughout life, specific strategies and tools make everyday life much easier.
As we all get ready for a new fabulous school year, I hope you will consider some of the strategies and resources listed below for developing greater executive function skills in your dyslexic learner. TIP - Try out the ones your child is most excited about and check in regularly to help them maintain the structure needed for them to succeed! Also, include their teacher in the system, this is a great way to support your child both at home and school.
Show your child systems to help them:
- Keep track of homework assignments, tests, and project due dates.
- File notes, completed assignments, etc.
- Quickly distinguish (in her folder) completed homework and other materials that have to be turned into the teacher.
- Use an appointment calendar or day planner.
Use colors to organize as much as possible (e.g., color post-its and folders).
Get your child a laptop and help her organize a filing system for all assignments (keeps everything in one place).
Display a laminated picture of how her desk is supposed to look when it is clean and organized, instead of repeatedly saying “clean your desk.”
Display a laminated picture of a proper table setting instead of repeatedly saying “the fork goes on the left.”
Give instructions in writing in the form of a checklist.
Teach your child to make step-by-step lists of tasks (e.g., “brush your teeth, feed the dogs, put lunch money in wallet, etc.” Keep the lists in the same place.
Teach your child to remind herself about the things by promptly leaving voicemails or sending herself emails.
Give your child options and let her decide which systems work best.
Dyslexia In The Classroom - What Every Teacher Needs To Know