Most people think that family members are the only ones who find difficulty in addressing the problems of a child with dyslexia. However, class teachers also face a lot of confusion when it comes to dealing with students with such disorder.
There are various reasons why a student with dyslexia is underperforming in class. First, the disorder causes poor auditory short-term memory which hinders them to retain the concepts and input from the teacher. For example, they have difficulty remembering the sounds of the words they hear. Because of this, it is hard for them to match these words with their spelling.
Another problem these pupils are facing is low self-esteem. Since most of them have a difficult time catching up with their lessons, they find themselves lacking confidence when dealing with the world.
“I have too often encountered countless numbers of genuinely bright children who sincerely believed they were just plain stupid,” wrote Ania Siwek, PsyD. “Often this erroneous conclusion is drawn when children have no other way to explain their learning differences to themselves.”
These problems that are faced by students with dyslexia are common, and teachers have a huge role to create a positive and encouraging environment. They can make it easier for them to learn faster and regain their self-value.
Listed below are some tips on how to deal with students with dyslexia.
There are several new technologies and tools which teachers can use to assist them in handling their students. One example of this a colored keyboard. Keyboards which have features that contain larger letters and colored overlays help them type easily. There are even some that have multimedia hotkeys. These let them play, stop, pause, and rewind audio anytime they want. They are convenient since they often use text-to-speech software.
Another assistive technology which you can use is a line reader. A liner reader highlights and magnifies the texts it marks. It guides students with dyslexia to read and move through a worksheet or book with ease. It will also enable them to overcome their tendency of swimming with words. The result? Less distraction.
One reason why people with dyslexia have a hard time listening to their teacher is that they always get lost when their instructor starts to write on the blackboard. With that, the teachers should make sure to do the following to avoid this:
- Make sure that the words have ample space between them. Doing this will let them read correctly and avoid mixing the words beside it.
- Use different colored chalks per line or sentence if there is a bombardment of words on the board. If this is too tedious, the teacher can also underline every other line using chalk of assorted colors.
- Do not rush the child in copying the information on the board. Leave the writing there as much as possible.
Marking And Scoring Strategies
Always take into account that students with dyslexia have a hard time catching up with the education standard of their classmates. Hence, it is essential to acknowledge the effort and time put by the child into his or her schooling works. Maybe teachers can have a different scoring approach when grading the outputs of their students with dyslexia.
Teachers and parents must reward effort, not just “the product”. “For the dyslexic, grades should be less important than progress,” says Michael Ryan, M.D.
Try also not to use red marks when marking and scoring their work. There is nothing more disheartening than seeing their papers covered with red ink. It will also lower their self-esteem in the process. To boost their confidence in their schooling, mark their work using a pencil and write positive comments on their work.
To assist the children with their vocabulary capacity, here are some of the things a teacher can do:
- Require a child to carry a small notebook which can serve as their dictionary. Their logs will include the details such as the word, page number where they found it in the dictionary, a short description of the meaning, the pronunciation, and a sentence which contains the words.
- Teach the child with root words, prefixes, and suffixes to improve their comprehension and spelling.
- Improve their vocabulary bank by forming associations. These associations can be through written sentences or verbal expressions. Make sure to relate it to their lives as well.
Oral Recitations And Computer-Written Output
There may be times that students with dyslexia miss passing their written output because they find it difficult to write their thoughts and they also consider physical handwriting as torture.
The first thing which could be of help to them is to give them an opportunity to answer questions through oral recitations. People with dyslexia find it easier to express their thoughts and communicate their answers through speaking.
Another technique which you can do is to allow them to submit computer-written output. Most students with dyslexia use programs such as word processors to make their lives easier. It is also recommended to let them use applications such as the Spell Checker to correct their punctuations and grammar.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” strategy in addressing the concerns of children with dyslexia. However, these five teachings tips should be a start for those teachers who are still confused on how to deal with their students with dyslexia.
“Know the student,” Joan Teach, PhD., recommended. “And then try a strategy and see if it works. And if that strategy doesn’t work, try something else. Keep trying different strategies, because each child’s configuration of strengths and weakness will be different.”