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.

Wednesday 19 July 2017

Raising the self esteem of a dyslexic child

Unsurprisingly, children who struggle with something like literacy - which is so much a part of the school curriculum and our daily lives - quickly become despondent and deflated as they see their friends progress through the reading levels, leaving them behind. The situation is made even worse if their needs aren't being met by the school.

So,what can you do to support and bolster their self esteem? First, tap into the things you know they are really good at. It is very easy when you are trying to help your child to master something, to focus on it to the exclusion of everything else. A balance is needed; it is important to help your child develop their literacy skills but equally your child needs a chance to shine. They need to think of themselves as a success and for other siblings and friends to also see them in a positive light.

So, whether it is music, art or sports, encourage your child to develop and explore their talents. After school activities can become an important part of their lives, helping to define who they are and sometimes even influence future career choices.

Sometimes, particularly if it has taken a while for their dyslexia to have been spotted or if their school or teacher has been unsympathetic, a child will become of the opinion that they are 'stupid'. They will tell you they can't do anything. In this case, you need to show them that they are not. Help them to make a list of things they are good at and things that they are not so good at/ find hard. Include everything from baking cakes to running to tidying up or being a good friend.

Talk about the lists, praise all the achievements and acknowledge the things your child finds difficult - explain that it is not your child's fault that they are dyslexic anymore than if they had a leg or arm that didn't work. Explain that with help, your child will get better at reading and writing but that there are loads of other skills that they already have that are very important and useful.

Talk to your child about all the successful dyslexics - past and present - this may include family members and people you know. There are also a number of famous people including authors who have overcome their dyslexia and done well (just google 'successful dyslexics' to find them). Talking about other dyslexics will help your child realize that they are not alone and that being dyslexic is no barrier to success or happiness.

Finally, make it easy for your child to enjoy books - audio books of stories by authors that you know your child will love (Dr Seuss, Julia Donaldson, Roald Dhal or J.K Rowling to name but a few) will help them to develop a love of books without the effort and upset of tackling the text. Sometimes, a book or series of books are the talk of the playground, if your child has heard the story, then they can join in the conversations without losing face or feeling left out...