Help for Children with Learning Disorders like Dyslexia to Succeed in the Classroom
As researchers increase their understanding of the causes and dimensions of dyslexia, the toolkit of effective strategies for teaching such students continues to grow. Students with visual processing disorders have very individual needs, so teachers must have a range of techniques ready to use. Here is an overview of some approaches that researchers have found that provide help for dyslexia.
Keep Work Spaces Uncluttered
This concept includes simplicity in the visual and auditory realm. Keep desks and tables uncluttered by asking students to put away all materials not actively in use. Teachers need to leave plenty of blank space between words and lines when they write on the blackboard or prepare worksheets. Classrooms and personal study spaces should also be kept as quiet as possible.
Establish Academic Routines
Almost every outline of effective dyslexia strategies involves careful structuring of new material. This includes presenting each step of a lesson in graphic and spoken order, and proceeding step by step. The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) points out in its teacher tips that daily classroom routines are very important, as is repeating directions and presenting new words in small sequential steps.
Use Color and 3D in Writing Exercises
Since different areas of the brain come into play when recognizing shape and color, writing letters in different colors helps students to distinguish between them. One effective strategy for writing with dyslexia combines a color scheme with phonics so that syllables are differentiated by color. With younger students, letter shapes can be traced in sand, or the letters themselves can be three-dimensional objects that are picked up and positioned.
Encourage Speaking and Listening
Yale researchers have found that “the phonological deficit masks what are often excellent comprehension skills.” A classroom assistant can transcribe the dictation of a student with learning disorders. This aids the student in separating intellectual content from the effort of writing, instilling confidence in his or her ability to think. Listening to story tapes can build a love of literature that is separate from the task of reading with dyslexia.
Nurture Reading Pleasure by Presenting Easier Books
Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity suggests engaging the entire class in books that combine rich storytelling with simple words. This technique enables dyslexic students to finish books, appreciate humor and articulate opinions on par with their peers. It short-circuits the usual competitive anxiety about being able to keep up and enables a sense of competence.
Help for Dyslexia
You can be an advocate for your child by working together with their teacher to discuss the range of classroom strategies for dyslexia. Developing a sense of teamwork with school staff can relieve your concerns and encourage a peaceful integration between school and home. If you’re seeking resources outside the classroom, you and your child can join together in the Brain Balance Program. This integrated drug-free approach, based on neurological research, provides a rich supplement to the classroom experience.
If your child struggles with learning or has been diagnosed with a Learning Disorder, contact us online or find a center near you to learn more about how the Brain Balance Program can help.
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