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Education Matters

6 Things Parents Can Do For Dyslexic Children

August 29th, 2011

by Sonya Bridges

School can be especially hard on children with learning disabilities, and the closer the first day of school gets, anxiety can build. Here are some surefire techniques and organization tips that will ease anxiety, foster confidence, and make the start of the school year a breeze.

  1. Trust your gut.  Always remember that you know your child better than anyone.
  2. Draft a homework contract. Before school starts, brainstorm a homework contract together. Not only does this establish an organized homework routine, which is highly necessary for dyslexics, but this also gives your child a sense of ownership over his/her actions.
  3. Color-code textbooks. Have your child pick out his or her preferred colors to wrap textbooks in so that locating the right book immediately is a snap.
  4. Occupy the other side of their brain. During homework time, provide a squishy ball for your child to hold in his/her hand as they write. By holding it in the opposite writing hand, that particular side of the brain is engaged and they can maintain focus on the homework task.
  5. Ramp up the positivity. Engage your child in picking out school supplies together, choosing several new items of clothing, and even arranging a get together with school friends.  Make it fun!
  6. Goal-setting. Brainstorm three to five goals that your child wants to accomplish this year. Is it finding a new favorite author? Staying organized? Helping another student with dyslexia? Revisit these goals every two to three months and acknowledge them with a  small celebration: announcing it at dinnertime in front of the whole family, a special day out together, or your child can pick the toppings on the next pizza order.

These simple steps will make a world of difference in not only your child’s life, but your entire household as well. Being prepared, staying organized, and keeping up on best practice methods is a guarantee for personal and educational success.

Sonya Bridges is the founder of A Family Affair, a non-profit organization that promotes literacy awareness and fosters a deeper understanding of dyslexia, recognizing that family support is crucial to success

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