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Ways to Help a Dyslexic Student

Below some support tips for dyslexic students.

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia affects 1 in 10 people in UK. According to the British Dyslexia Association it is "a learning difference which primarily affects reading skills". Unlike a learning disability intelligence isn't affected.

Some people see dyslexia as a disadvantage however there are many advantages to being dyslexic. On the bad side dyslexia can mean you read or write slower, confuse the order of letters in words, switch letters such as "b" and "d" around, have poor spelling, struggle to write things down, struggle remembering and even have organisational problems. On the good side you're not alone. Entrepreneurs such as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Charles Schwab were dyslexia. Businesses like to employ dyslexics because they think outside the box and are good problem solvers. Dyslexics also tend to be highly creative and come up with new innovative ways to do things. Dyslexics are also good with spatial awareness. They tend to be able to manipulate 3D objects easily which is why a lot of dyslexics go into architecture and design.

Although dyslexia is a lifelong condition it is certainly manageable with many sites dedicated to supporting dyslexia:

Computer support

One characteristic of dyslexic students is they are usually very competent on computers or prefer to receive information this way. Below are a few ways you can a dyslexic's life easier.


Tip 1: PDF reader and Word - change the colour of the screen

You can change the colour of pdf's in Adobe Acrobat Reader (see video below). The basic version of Adobe Acrobat Reader is free to download.

You can also change the colour of Office Word documents by changing the background colour.


Tip 2: Font - Open Dyslexia Font

You can download a free font which is supposed to support Dyslexic reading and writing. The font can be found here on SEN


Tip 3: Office and Dictation

Office has got voice recognition and you can dictate to any Microsoft program.


Tip 4: Audio books

Audible supplies audio books and you can set up a subscription with Amazon if you like to read a lot. Some libraries also have a free audio book system available directly to your phone or kindle device. You need to download the app and away you go!


Tip 5: Picture dictionary software

You can get picture dictionary for dyslexics that links pictures to words. Picture That is free on internet but there are others which you can also pay for.


Other ways to support


Tip 6 - Educational intervention

Schools and SEN departments usually have dyslexia support such as learning assistants, small group intervention, specialist teach 1-to-1 support


Tip 7 - Reading

Reading through repetition, reading to a child, discussing books etc. can support dyslexics. Also some students respond better to specific reading programs designed for dyslexics such as The Orton-Gillingham Approach.


Tip 8 - Mind mapping and diagrams

Often writing information in a more visual way can support dyslexics. To discover your learning style read my blog post on "how to learn and revise more effectively".


Tip 9 - Build self-esteem

A lot of dyslexics have low self-esteem. They see their classmates or colleagues advancing when they are struggling to read or write. Helping to boost self-esteem can help improve confidence and a love of learning.


Tip 10 - Stay informed

This includes attending SEN meetings at schools, finding out the latest information on dyslexia, discovering resources on-line, talking with other parents etc. After all knowledge is power!


If you are looking for an SEN tutor contact Rebecca at RK Tutors.

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