Supporting a child with Dyslexia

During my time in Mainstream Education I worked with several children with Dyslexia.   I also created a ‘How to support’ leaflet for my colleagues to use during an Ofsted Visit.

Here are some details that may help you to support a child with Dyslexia.

The word ‘Dyslexia’ comes from the Greek DYS meaning difficulty and LEXIS meaning language, hence a difficulty with words.
Dyslexia is a learning difference that is to do with the way language is processed.  We need to shift out thinking away from seeing dyslexia as a deficit model of learning – a learning difficulty – to seeing it as a learning difference.
In about 70% of cases a familiar link can be established.
There is also strong evidence that dyslexia has a biological basis and is associated with the early development of the brain.
Some dyslexics have visual problems that result in visual instability so that the letters on a page seem to move or flicker.
Sometimes letters seem to change places, flipping over so that an M will become a W or a T will become an F.

Dyslexics have a difficulty with phonological processing which leads to problems with reading and writing.  Evidence suggest that dyslexia has a biological basis but that environmental factors play a very significant role in the ways in which it develops.

Dyslexia can create the ability to think in multi-dimensions, leading to increased awareness and sensitivity,  It can also affect motor skills and the processing, memorising and organisation of information.  This can have an impact across the whole curriculum.

Some strategies to support a child ;-


  • Have a tool kit   (Highlighters (many dyslexics have visual strengths and colour helps them focus)  Spare pens and pencils (not having one used as an avoidance tactic by children)  Soft rubbers ( dyslexics erase their work a lot) blank cards ( to prepare on spot memory joggers such as key words, facts numbers)  rewards an stickers (dyslexics thrive on praise)
  • The ultimate goal in supporting a dyslexic child is to encourage independent learning.  Support as appropriate, challenge sometimes and alway share high expectations.
  • Use photocopies when you can instead of asking a child to write from the board
  • Think about their learning styles
  • Build in opportunities to rehearse and consolidate difficult areas
  • Support in a multi sensory way.  Try to plan at least two or three ways of doing each task.
  • Help children to break down tasks into manageable steps.
  • Praise effort and focus on what has been achieved.
  • Photocopy onto coloured paper
  • Discuss with SEN should you think that a child is Dyslexic especially in Years 7 and 8. If disagnosed then additional support can be made available for exams.
  • Avoid, where possible, asking the child to read out loud.
  • Use line marker to keep a child correctly in line when reading text.
  • Give instructions in short manageable chunks.
  • Use patience.
  • Do not treat a mistake as a ‘failure’ but as a learning opportunity.  This will boost self-esteem.

Some useful websites ;-


Hope this helps you to support the child better.

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