A learn­ing curve

Lancashire Life - - Family - WORDS: El­lie Fells

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.

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