Here’s a hot issue that many parents struggle with: how does one help their kid to cope with dyslexia? I’ve seen this before many times: parents realise that their child/children are dyslexic, and panic sets in. Do not fret! Dyslexia’s challenges can be easily overcome. Here are three things you can do to help your child cope with dyslexia:
“Read, read, and read some more!”
Many of my current and ex-students overcame the most immediate challenges of dyslexia through good reading practices. I have a student whose dyslexia was so severe that he could not read words like ‘thrash’. Shortly after joining my programme and participating in our role-playing games, he developed a voracious appetite for books. He started to read fantasy stories like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (which I highly recommend!). Together with what he learned in class, he was able to build on his English ability. Today, at 13 years old , he can read really long words like “unimaginatively” and “inexplicable”.
Of course, good reading practices must go hand-in-hand with remediation (e.g. Swords & Stationery’s specialist tuition programme), for best results. A lot of dyslexic learners can probably overcome dyslexia’s hurdles on their own through good reading practices, but those with more severe dyslexia will benefit even more from the remediation process if the educator/therapist can help them to read with greater fluency and accuracy.
Be positive and encouraging towards your child
Dyslexic learners need plenty of positivity and encouragement from friends and family members. Let them know that the people around them are not giving up on them—this is an important factor in keeping them motivated to learn.
An existing student of mine used to always shun reading difficult words when she was in Primary 4 and 5. She could not read most words with more than two syllables; often, she would refuse to continue reading upon hitting a stumbling block. It took me years of encouragement, positivity and motivational speeches to finally break that barrier. Today, at Secondary 2, she can read tongue-twisting words like “unintendedly”, and even reads fiction books on her own outside of school.
Finding the right people and resources to help
It’s important to get in touch with people who can help your child. Last year, I did an interview with Christina Tan from Dyslexia Support Group Singapore. Christina’s daughter, E, has dyslexia, and went through coaching under the Davis Dyslexia method at an early age. She is now coping well in school thanks to the early intervention. On a similar note, many of Swords & Stationery’s past students have gone on to do well in Junior Colleges, Polytechnics and ITEs. All of these students had one thing in common: I had worked closely with their parents, and together, we were able to help them achieve the most satisfactory results.
Finding the right people to help is crucial to your child’s success. There are many specialists in Singapore who can help your child depending on his/her needs, whether he/she has dyslexia, ADHD, or Autism Spectrum Disorders. These are learning challenges that can be circumvented and/or conditioned by experts and experienced professionals in the field.
Having a child with dyslexia, in Singapore? Do not worry!
The fact of having a child with dyslexia in the local context is that while it may impede the child’s progression early on, with the right motivation, the right spirit, the right resources and the right people to help, he/she can still do very well in life. One of my ex-learners is now a student leader at Singapore Polytechnic; another went on to do Aerospace Engineering after his GCE ‘O’ Levels. Swords & Stationery has an established network of experts at the ready to help your child; we are fully equipped to help dyslexic students do the best that they can academically and socially. Reach out to us for a free consultation; we’d be more than happy to show you the best techniques to help your child cope with dyslexia, at home and in school.