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DYSLEXIA  - WHAT YOU CAN DO

 

You can’t prevent dyslexia but there are many activities that you can do which will help your dyslexic child.  Prevention is better than cure so get in there early.  But do remember to have FUN.  If you get too serious and anxious, you’ll get resistance and it just won’t work.

 

PRESCHOOL

  • If your 2-year old is not talking, see a speech and language therapist.

  • If your preschool or kindergarten child is ‘at risk’ (a history of dyslexia in the family), spend extra time on language games, nursery rhymes, clapping games, listening to stories.

  • Spend time on activities that help fine motor control like playing with pastry or plasticine, lacing, dressing frames, colouring and so on.

  • Games that help coordination such as clapping games, hopping, catching a beanbag are important.

  • Have sight and hearing tested.

  • Remember that for children “play is noble work” even when it’s messy.

 

SCHOOL AGE

  • If your child is taking longer than his classmates to learn his letters have sight and hearing tested to rule that out. 

  • Help him learn his letters by using all his senses (multi-sensory learning). He can trace the letter while saying the sound, write it in the air while saying the sound, and write it on a blackboard or on the driveway with chalk, or with eyes closed while saying the sound.

  • Continue with rhyming games, language games such as ‘I spy’ and ‘I went to market’, ‘Simon says’ do 2 things or 3 things.

  • Read to your child daily.  Children with delayed reading skills miss out on the language enrichment that comes with reading.  The Dyslexia Association has a library of audio books for children.

  • Give as much praise and positive reinforcement as possible.

  • Provide time for activities your child excels in.

  • Remember a dyslexic has to put more effort into written work than his classmates.  Ask the school if you can scribe some of his homework for him, or advocate for less written homework.  Ask the school how long your child is expected to spend on homework and see if the teacher will agree that your child can stop once he has spent that amount of supervised quality time.

  • Teach him the look, say, cover, write, check technique for learning spelling.

  • Arrange an assessment with an educational psychologist or call the Dyslexia Association for screening.

  • Ask your school to refer your child to Student Support Services of the Ministry of education for an assessment.

 

SECONDARY SCHOOL

  • Even if your dyslexic child’s reading has been remediated, he will still take longer than his classmates to read text. Put your child’s textbooks on a smart device or read the chapter to him before he covers it in class.

  • Proofread his work and help him make a checklist of errors he makes so that he can start checking for them himself.

  • Help him with organizational skills.  For example, paste a timetable on the bedroom door so that he remembers his games kit, or the science project that is due.  Help him colour-code his books – green for Science; red for Math etc.

  • Praise effort.

  • Seriously consider investing in a computer (before designer shoes).

  • Email or contact the Dyslexia Association requesting information on helpful assistive technology.

 

ADULT

  • Blame your dyslexia for your difficulty with words but remember to thank it for your talents with visual images and your excellent spatial intelligence.

  • Seriously consider coming out of the closet.  Be dyslexic and proud.  Join a fine set of successful people such as:

    • Albert Einstein

    • Hans Christian Andersen

    • Charles Schwab

    • Thomas Edison

    • Winston Churchill

    • Walt Disney

    • Boscoe Holder

    • William Butler Yeats

    • Cher

    • Tom Cruise

  • Invest in technology.  Request information on helpful software.

  • Ask your workplace for the technology you need.

  • Search out dyslexic colleagues and discuss coping strategies.

  • Learn to laugh at your mistakes.

 

ALL AGES

  • Contact the Association for a referral to a trained dyslexia tutor in your area.

  • Become your own advocate and ask for the help you need.

  • Join the Dyslexia Association and learn as much as you can about this different learning style through audio books, DVDs and books.

  • For more information, call the Dyslexia Association – 625-5869.

 

SCREENING

 

Many of our tutors have been trained to conduct a Screening Test.  While teachers cannot diagnose dyslexia, this screening looks at the underlying pre-reading skills so that a course of remediation can be recommended.

The screening tests 

  • Vocabulary (words which the child understands)

  • Visual spatial skills (the ability to notice sameness and differences in visual shapes)

  • Motor control

  • Blending (the ability to blend sounds into words at an oral level)

  • Auditory Sequential Memory (the ability to remember sequential information presented orally)

  • Visual Sequential Memory (the ability to remember sequential information presented visually)

  • Sound discrimination (the ability to distinguish between similar sounding speech sounds)

  • Visual discrimination (the ability to notice slight differences in the arrangement of letters in words)

  • Letter sound knowledge

  • Letter name knowledge

  • Reading skills (the age at which the child is reading)

  • Spelling skills (the age at which the child is spelling)

  • Free writing (the child’s ability to write a story or a piece of prose)

 

The teacher will produce a written report with recommendations.

This is a good first step as it guides the tutor, the parents, and the school with regards to the intervention and accommodation required in order for the child to progress.

 

The report can also be used to support the school’s or parent’s request for a Full Psycho-Educational assessment from Student Support Services at the Ministry of Education.

Call us for referral to a tutor near you. 625-5869

 

FINDING A TUTOR

 

The Association has trained over 1000 teachers in three specific programmes for dyslexics.  Contact us for referral to a tutor near you.

 

  • NOW! (Neuro-development of Words) Foundations for Speech, Reading and Spelling®.  A unique programme which uses the feel of the mouth to train phonological awareness; a key pre-reading skill.  This programme replaces the LiPS Training

 

  • ‘Methods for Teaching Dyslexics’  A structured phonics programme based on Orton-Gillingham techniques.

 

  • NOW! (Neuro-development of Words) Mental Imagery for Language, Comprehension, Memory and Reasoning ® This programme replaces the Visualizing and Verbalizing programme

 

CONTACTING STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES (SSSD)

“Established in 2004, the Student Support Services Division (SSSD) delivers an array of psycho-social, educational and behavioural services for students to provide environments which support their healthy development, enabling them to become responsible, productive citizens.

The Division provides a comprehensive and well-coordinated array of psycho-social support services to students which include specialised services for children with moderate and severe Special Educational needs, behavioural issues, clinical issues and career guidance.”  www.moe.gov.tt

 

Student Support Services can conduct a Full Psycho-educational Evaluation on your child.

Referral is through your child’s school.  However, if the student is failing to learn to read parents can contact SSS directly if the school does not refer the student.

Port of Spain

5 St. Vincent Street

Building A, Level 1

Tel: 622-2181 Ext 1033-36

 

San Fernando

16-22 Sutton Street

Tel: 653-6235

 

Chaguanas

Main Road, Chaguanas (opposite Rattans)

Tel: 672-7626

Social Media

Address

31 Alberto Street,

Woodbrook, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago

Tel: (868) 625-5869

Email: info@dyslexiatt.org