A learning curve
Why when it comes to dyslexia, there’s still plenty that needs to be done to raise awareness
understanding by teachers is also a fundamental part of ensuring schools are a more dyslexiafriendly environment. ‘When a dyslexic child is looking a bit blankly at you or they’re looking away from you, it may be that they’re trying to visualise what you’ve said,’ Karen says. ‘I think a lot of teachers in the past might have viewed it as rudeness, but it’s just about empathy.’
There are plenty of ways parents can support the learning of a child with dyslexia at home, too; simply reading regularly with them can make a huge difference. ‘Consider encouraging them to cover up the part of the word they’re not reading with their thumb, listening to audiobooks and reading aloud as a family,’ suggests Elena Dalrymple, editor of Theschoolrun.com, the learning support website for primary school parents. She also recommends multi-sensory learning – ‘for example, using wooden or plastic letters to make the constituent sounds in words’ – and Elena adds that using mnemonics and memory aids can help with their spelling. Technology and educational games can also be utilised to assist children with their learning, and you can find lots of apps designed specifically for work on phonics and spelling.
Organisations like the BDA are playing a key role in changing the conversation about this neurological difference, and Dyslexia Awareness Week offers the perfect opportunity to challenge stereotypes. It’s time to stop seeing dyslexia as a negative thing, and instead to see it simply as a different way of learning that is unique to each individual.
Further information about Dyslexia Awareness Week can be found via the British Dyslexia Association’s website at bdadyslexia.org.uk.