Tips for Teachers to Help Dyslexic Students

Tips to Help Dyslexic Students

Helping Teachers Better Handle Reading Problems

© Maurcia DeLean Houck

Oct 24, 2007
Dyslexicstudents can thrive in the classroom with the right help. This articlewill give teachers the simple tips they need to help their dyslexicstudents succeed.

When you have a child that isdyslexic, school can often be a challenge. Many classroom teachers havenot had formal training in the correct teaching methods for learningdisabled students. There are so many different types and severities ofdisabilities that could be in a classroom at one time, there is no wayone teacher could be an expert on all of them. Therefore, you need tohave all of the information you can to make sure that your child has thecorrect accommodations in the classroom. It is important that youhelped to educate the teacher and others that are involved with yourchild on what to expect from a dyslexic child.

For many students,this is considered an invisible disability. These children have largevocabularies, excellent verbal skills and appear to be “normal”. In manycases teachers just think the kids need to try harder. This isn’t true.They work very hard. Usually much harder than their counterparts thatis not learning-disabled and still fall behind. Your goal in theclassroom is to level the playing field to make sure that your child hasevery opportunity to succeed.

When requesting accommodations, youneed to remember that you’re trying to allow your child to demonstratehis or her knowledge on the subject at or above grade level, even thoughthey have not yet mastered reading writing or spelling at grade level.

This is a list of common accommodations:

UntimedTestsDyslexic students often need extra time to read the questionsformulate an answer in their heads get it down on paper.

Oral Testing

Tests are read to the student and student is allowed to give answers orally (a tape recorder can be used if needed).

Proper Testing

Usematch up, fill-in-the-blank, or short answer formats for tests. Listvocabulary words for fill-in-the-blank sections at the top of the exam.Dyslexics often know the answer but have a problem retrieving thespecific word without a list to choose from. Multiple-choice questionsare also difficult for dyslexic students due to the volume of readingrequired to answer them correctly. If the test is read and alternativemeasures are made for the recording of answers, essay andmultiple-choice tests can be used successfully.

Eliminate or Reduce Spelling Tests

Classroomteachers rarely teach spelling rules in the same way or same order as adyslexia tutor. Many teachers will accept a spelling test given in atutoring session as a replacement for the classroom test, or only grade aclassroom spelling test on a small number of pre-determined words.

Don't Force Oral Reading

Teachersshould never force students with dyslexia to read out loud in front ofthe class. If for some reason this is absolutely necessary, warn thestudent in advance and show them exactly which passage they will have toread so that they can practice beforehand.

Accepting Dictated Homework

Dyslexicstudents can dictate answers much more easily and quickly than they canwrite them down. Allow parents to act as a scribe.

Homework Reduction

Mostteachers do not realize that it takes a dyslexic student three to fourtimes longer to complete the same assignment as a child that is notdyslexic. A maximum amount of time should be agreed upon between theteacher and the parent for the completion of homework. The studentshould only be required to work on homework for the maximum amount oftime.

Grade on Content

Some teachers take spelling andhandwriting into consideration when assigning a grade. For dyslexicchildren, this is not appropriate. Teachers should be asked to gradeonly on the content of an assignment.

Limit or Eliminate Copying Tasks

Itwould be beneficial to the dyslexic student to have a copy of theteachers notes. Copying information from the board takes a dyslexicstudent much longer, and often is illegible. If a copy of the teacher’snotes is not available copying notes from a student gifted at takingnotes is a good second choice.

Alternate AssignmentsConsider oralor video presentations, possibly PowerPoint dioramas collages asalternate ways of showing that the material that’s been taught has beenfully understood. These alternatives to long written papers will trulyshow the dyslexic’s mastery of the information presented.

Provide a Study Guide

askthe teacher to provide a study guide with key terms and concepts to thestudent also request a review the day before the test or exam.

Listen to Your Student

Often,dyslexic students can explain strategies and techniques that help themlearn to teachers. These are usually easy to incorporate into aclassroom.

When working with a dyslexic student it is important toremember that you and the teacher are a team. You need to work togetherfor the benefit of your student. Open dialogue is extremely importantfor your child to succeed. Set up regular meeting times and worktogether with the teacher to ensure a happy and productive year for yourchild.

The copyright of the article Tips to Help Dyslexic Students in Special Needs Education is owned by Maurcia DeLean Houck. Permission to republish Tips to Help Dyslexic Students in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

Read more: