In my last post we looked at how to recognize the signs of dyslexia in children and what to do if you saw those signs in a child in your life. Today’s post examines what comes next. In other words, what kind of treatment do children with dyslexia receive. The types of help and support children with dyslexia receive falls into two main categories, academic and social/emotional.
Academic support focuses on helping students learn in a way that is best suited to their individual needs. In the United States, schools are legally obligated to provide accommodations for students with a learning disability (such as dyslexia). It is important for the parents and teachers to work closely together to develop a plan to help the student succeed. Common accommodations for children with dyslexia include things such as extra time on tests, access to quiet work spaces, oral instead of written examinations (when appropriate), and exemptions from reading aloud in class. There are also additional methods that can be implemented to help children with dyslexia learn to read more fluently. Things such as using a ruler so that the student can only see one line of text at a time or having them trace spelling words in shaving cream so that they are engaging both their eyesight and their sense of touch, can help reduce the difficulties associated with dyslexia and boost their self confidence. Parents can also do things in their daily lives to increase their child’s interest in reading. Reading aloud to or with the child will help associate reading with good feelings instead of negative ones (which is a good reason to read aloud to all children, with or without dyslexia).
The other kind of support children with dyslexia need is emotional and social support. Often children with dyslexia have felt like their reading struggles are because of some failing of their own. This can lead to frustration, embarrassment, isolation, and low self esteem. To reduce or prevent these problems it is important for parents to speak honestly with their children about what they are struggling with. It is also important to make sure the child knows that their parents see how hard they are working and are proud of them. Parents can also help by reminding children of their unique strengths. Some children with dyslexia may also benefit from seeing a licenced therapist to help them work through issues of self esteem and frustration.
In addition to other more traditional academic paths for treating dyslexia, neurofeedback has been used successfully in helping to retrain the brain. In dyslexia, the problem often lies in the visual, auditory, and/or the executive centers of the brain and by directly targeting those, neurofeedback can reduce or even remove the reading and language difficulties associated with dyslexia. This in turn, can improve self esteem and emotional well being. You can read more about neurofeedback for dyslexia here. To learn more about neurofeedback in general visit Magnolia Mind Mapping’s website.
This blog was written by our intern, Hannah Shaffett