Some of the best therapy choices for your dyslexic kid
Since there are no medications available for dyslexia (https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/treatments-approaches/treatment-options/treatment-for-kids-with-dyslexia),professionals usually recommend a number of therapies for any kid suffering from this disability. Most schools these days are also equipped to handle the issues faced by a dyslexic child. However, because the severity varies from child to child, any therapist would first access the kid through a number of tests before coming up with an action plan which will be followed by his/her parents and school.
Dyslexia being a learning disability, most of its therapies deal with phonological awareness. These usually follow a highly structured method and involve rigorous practice over a long period of time. A detailed overview of this and other therapy techniques are given below:
1. Phonics: These programmes usually aim to teach the child to
- associate words with sounds (for example, the word ‘man’ is made up of three sounds which are ‘m’, ‘a’ and ‘n’)
- merge sounds to form words and in time to merge words to form sentences
- read and pronounce words correctly
- observe their own understanding of what they are reading by asking them questions
Most therapists take the ‘multisensory’ approach of learning that is for example, making the child see and touch a ball while teaching him the word or making him write the number ‘8’ in the air while saying it out loud. Teachers and parents are also advised to follow this technique as it is more engaging and help kids retain the information by making connections based on more than one sense.
2. Involvement of the parents: Parents being the closest to any child, play a very important role in helping their kid cope with dyslexia. Their constant support and motivation can be a great boost to their child’s self-esteem. Therapists often advise parents of dyslexic kids to read and over-read the same books to their child regularly. This way the child will have a sense of familiarity with the words and sentence structures used in the text.
Parents are also asked to maintain a fun and activity-based curriculum in the house so as to keep the interest of the child alive.
3. Use of assistance technology: Both kids and adults find it extremely useful to facilitate their learning process by the use of various tech equipment and applications available online. One such example would be the ‘speech-to-text’ feature made available on most devices that help students with writing problems easily finish their compositions. Other such tools include audio books, smart pens etc.
One can only imagine how difficult and frustrating life would get for people suffering from dyslexia. But with sufficient help from people around them, there is no way they cannot reach their full potential. Let us remember that even Picasso was dyslexic but that did not stop him from doing great things with his life!
*The opinions expressed in this article are not to be substituted for medical advice under any circumstance*