One in every ten children is dyslexic and many more struggle with reading and writing. Early intervention and a structured multi-sensory teaching programme can make all the difference. As a qualified teacher and member of the British Dyslexia Association, I have taught countless children to read and will help your child to become a confident and competent reader as well as helping them find ways to improve their writing and spelling.

Contact me today to find out how I can help you and your child.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The importance of Early Identification

As with all things, the sooner you spot it, the easier it is to treat. Dyslexia is no different – you can't cure it but early identification is key to helping your child overcome and manage their dyslexia.
Long before children are able to read, there may be signs that something is wrong. Parents are often encouraged by childcare professionals to “wait and see” - even if there is a history of dyslexia in the family. However, there is a great deal you can do to help your child, long before they ever get past the school gates.
So, how soon can you tell if a child is dyslexic? According the British Dyslexia Association, signs start to appear around the age of three. Delayed speech, clumsiness and the inability to understand simple rhymes can all be signs of dyslexia. Many dyslexic pre-schoolers regularly come up with jumbled phrases such as ”gig birl” meaning “big girl”. They often muddle up the names of familiar things such as colours, for example saying blue when they mean brown. Crucially, whilst they may love listening to you read, a young dyslexic often shows no interest in reading books to themselves.
There are lots of ways you can help. First, don't panic and try not to worry. Spotting signs of dyslexia doesn't mean for sure that your child is dyslexic (screening and, if necessary, assessment are needed to confirm that) but whether they are dyslexic or not, the activities needed to support a dyslexic learner benefit all children. In other words, you and your child can only gain from doing the following activities.
Try out some of these ideas taken from the BDA book ”Dyslexia:Early Identification” plus some of my own tried and tested activities that I've used with my younger pupils.
  • Sing nursery rhymes and encourage your child to join in
  • Talk about words that rhyme and clap out the rhythym of your child's name
  • Play sound lotto and try closing your eyes and identifying the noises around you
  • Sound words out using the letter sounds e.g m-a-n
  • Play I Spy – there are lots of variations e.g I spy something that rhymes with hat/ starts with the same sound as dog/ starts with the sound b/starts with the letter b
  • Look at pictures together – use the picture to encourage your child to tell a story or to descibe and develop positional language (e.g in front of, behind etc)
  • Play Kim's game to help improve memory skills – put objects on a tray, cover them then remove an item and ask your child to say what is missing
  • Practice forming letters in sand, using shaving foam,playdough or simply using your finger in the air
  • Use wooden or magnetic letters to help your child to sequence and name letters of the alphabet
    Essentially, make letters and words an everyday part of your child's life – constant exposure in a relaxed way can make all the difference....

Next time: When to screen for dyslexia …..