October is Dyslexia Awareness month. So how can you help?
Here are a few suggestions:
1) Audio texts to help with a love of books and learning;
2) Bigger spaces between words to assist with reading;
3) Provide other ways to show learning that isn’t hand writing based, or requires the reading of lengthy instructions;
4) Helpful apps such as Ginger Page, dictation tools, and Explain Everything;
5) Always avoid possible shaming or embarrassing situations. For example, instead of forcing a student to read or write in front of others, given them ample time so they can practise and this way increase their confidence;
6) Explicit phonological awareness instruction, along with a whole text approach. Use colour with phonemes to assist memory;
7) Visuals aides;
8) Instructional videos and audio;
9) Break down tasks using visual supports;
10) Keep working environments clear and organised;
11) Allow use of coloured pens, pencils and markers to assist learning;
12) Provide extra time for writing and reading;
13) Allow word charts/walls to assist with spelling and include contextual information e.g. pictures;
14) Provide examples of work, so students know what they are working towards;
15) Verbally repeat or record written instructions, and check in;
16) Allow experiences that show their strengths, such as: giving them the role as a listening buddy if they are good at understanding verbal instructions; teaching others about a passion of theirs; sharing their successes; or leadership and mentoring opportunities;
17) Use larger font sizes to assist reading. Research has found that the font, Primary Sassoon, is the easiest to read.
18) Provide writing helpers such as sentence starters, VCOP pyramid, and graphic organisers;
19) Reassess assessment methods (and learning) to ensure you are accurately capturing their level of understanding;
20) Level the ‘learning’ field as much as you can. Dyslexia doesn’t have to be a limiter, unless we build limits into students’ learning.