Dyslexia is a type of neuro-developmental disorder, or learning disability, which causes a number of problems for students. These include:
- Inaccurate and slow word recognition
- Poor reading speed, comprehension, and accuracy
- Difficulty identifying sounds
For a practical illustration, take the example of James. James is in tenth grade who has to deal with a heavy workload. As a dyslexic student James is aware of his strengths and weaknesses. He has devised a study plan which allows him to break whatever material he’s working on into small, digestible chunks. Although this may take him longer, the approach is necessary for him to comprehend the material properly.
Each individual with dyslexia is affected differently and experiences specific learning difficulties. Fortunately, a dyslexia school is not the only place where students can learn, there is much that the student can do to help themselves learn better and effectively.
What tools and technology can Dyslexic students use?
Dyslexic students can make use of a variety of technological tools to help them learn better. What’s important to understand is that dyslexics need to develop unique approaches to learning. For instance, many students with dyslexia have trouble keeping up in class because their note-taking speed is slower than their peers. What this shows is that while the majority of students may have a method that works for them, dyslexic students need to take a different approach to succeed. Here, technology can help.
Dyslexic students can:
- Make use of audio recording devices to record lectures so that they can listen to them as many times as they need to
- Use speech to text software
- Use note-taking software if they have illegible writing, or are generally slow when taking notes
- Download a variety of apps designed to assist dyslexic students
- Switch to digital textbooks
- Use planning and organization tools to help them study and learn effectively
Tips for Dyslexic students to use in school
Dyslexic students typically struggle with reading. An inability to read easily can have a number of adverse effects on a student, including lack of motivation and loss of confidence in their capabilities.
Difficulty with reading can arise from:
- Visual perceptual deficits
- Language processing difficulties
- Auditory perceptual deficits
Understanding the fundamentals of reading
One of the most effective ways to improve reading capabilities is through phonics. By developing phonemic awareness – the ability to identify, manipulate, and hear phonemes (or units of sound), students can learn to decode unfamiliar words with greater ease. In addition, here are a few exercises to sharpen reading skills:
- Practice – The best way to get better at anything is through practice. Set aside frequent reading periods of short duration. This will help build confidence and skills. Students can increase the reading duration once they feel comfortable.
- Spatial Awareness – Use bright colors, post-it notes, or stickers as book marks. These visual cues will help develop the ability to read in the proper sequence.
- Correlation – Use different strategies to relate unfamiliar words to concepts or images that they may be familiar with. This will help students remember new words.
Writing can be a challenge for dyslexic students with many of them exhibiting poor handwriting and slow writing speeds.
Here’s what students can do to improve their handwriting:
- If the student has illegible handwriting, they should take some time out to practice writing, slowly and without any time constraints. They do not need to worry about spellings, grammar, or punctuation at this point
- Students can build their confidence by writing longer pieces every day. This will increase their writing speed
- Break tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks
- Use organizational tools – calendars, organizers, timers, etc
- Prioritize – start with the most urgent task
- Plan work and outline the steps necessary to finish the task
If you’re a student who has been diagnosed with dyslexia, you may find it difficult to learn in the same way as your peers. The key to success, however, is to forge a path full of learning strategies and techniques, which are unique to you and your circumstances. There is much that can be done to succeed; what is needed is the right attitude, patience, and persistence. When you put all of these ingredients together, you’ll be one step closer to success.