This is a list of practical tips from WIBIDA members. Please note that these tips supplement – not replace multisensory structured language (MSL) programs and procedures to teach children with dyslexia to read. Also, please remember the list is an “a la carte” menu – you can pick and choose things to try. Not every suggestion is necessary or appropriate for every child. WIBIDA hopes that sharing ideas will help parents and teachers assist their children with dyslexia.
Things you may want to discuss with your child’s teachers or school:
1. Allow use of a pocket calculator to assist with basic calculations as your child learns higher level math concepts.
2. Allow your child to count on fingers while doing math and or sub vocalize while reading.
3. Partial credit if your child’s mathematical procedures were correct, but the answer was incorrect due to errors in computations.
4. Do not require them to always show their work.
5. Read word problems aloud.
6. Minimize drill, repetition, and rote memorization.
7. Minimize timed tests.
8. Give your child advance notice so that he can practice at home or after school before being called on to read aloud in class; or not requiring your child to read aloud.
9. Shorten assignments to focus on mastery of key concepts.
10. Shorten spelling tests to focus on mastering the most functional words.
11. Provide alternatives for written assignments (posters, oral/taped or video presentations, projects, collages, etc.).
12. Seat student close to teacher in order to monitor understanding.
13. Provide a print outline with videotapes and filmstrips.
14. Grade only for content not spelling or handwriting – give more weight to content than format.
15. Allow student to use a keyboard if handwriting is poor.
16. Allow student to dictate answers to essay questions.
17. Reduce copying tasks.
18. Give your child a written copy of homework instructions.
19. Give lecture notes to your child before the class so he can highlight them beforehand. Then he can work on listening instead of concentrating on the note taking itself.
20. Send homework and instructions by email.
21. Allow extra time to complete projects, term papers, book reports, etc.
22. Allow extra time to complete a test.
23. Allow your child to dictate test answers.
24. Allow the test to be read to your child.
25. Allow your child to give oral answers to essay questions.
26. Allow rephrasing of test questions.
27. Allow use of electronic dictionaries, books on tape, spellchecker, etc.
28. Allow student to observe others before attempting a new task.
29. When you ask the child a question in front of the class, say his name first so that he knows the question is coming up.
"Remember, every child and teacher is different and be open to explore different possibilities."
Facing Dyslexia in the Classroom with Colorado Teacher Cindy Kanuch
Dyslexia in the classroom can pose major challenges for dyslexic students and teachers alike. Cindy Kanuch is a learning/reading specialist who plays a highly influential role with students and teachers at the Calhan School in Calhan, Colorado. While embracing a model of neurodiversity and celebrating the strengths of her students with dyslexia and learning differences, Cindy has immersed herself in Orton-Gillingham methods of reading instruction and continually drives professional development and best practices among her fellow teachers. Thanks to her influence, the Calhan School made an exponential leap within one year from Turn Around level to Performance level recognition by the Colorado Department of Education and is helping to overcome dyslexia in the classroom. Learning Ally is proud to honor Cindy with our first ever Winslow Coyne Reitnouer Excellence in Teaching Award, celebrating leading edge practices and innovative efforts in classroom instruction for students who struggle to read because of learning differences and visual disabilities.
For more information visit: Learning Ally: http://learningally.org