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How To Teach A Dyslexic Child

3551 words - 14 pages

Dyslexia is now a widely accepted condition that is prevalent in many classrooms. However, defining dyslexia is difficult as it can be described as a continuum. Although experts largely agree that dyslexia is identifiable as a developmental difficulty of language learning and cognition (Rose, 2009). Dyslexia can pose a host of difficulties for the child and can make daily activities and school life very challenging. The NCLD (2013) states children with dyslexia may have difficulties with ‘accurate and fluent spelling, accurate and fluent written expression, phonological awareness, memory, verbal processing speed and information processing.’ As teachers it is vital that we are aware of the underlying difficulties as the child’s consistent underachievement can appear on the surface as carelessness and lack of effort (Hodge, 2000). Dyslexia is not only about literacy, although weaknesses in literacy are often the most visible sign, it effects all areas of learning as the ability to read and write sufficiently permeates all areas of learning within the curriculum. ‘Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities’ however, the difficulties posed by having dyslexia can affect a child’s ability to learn (Rose, 2009). Every child has the right to succeed and so the teacher must strive to provide the key for learning and implement effective interventions which develop the child’s literacy skills and help them reach their full potential (DCSF, 2007; DfES, 2004).

‘Much can be done through skilled teaching to lessen the impact of dyslexia on a child’s educational progress and provide them with effective coping strategies’ (Rose, 2009). As a teacher, getting to know the child is of vital and outmost importance. Through close observation and assessment of the child, appropriate strategies can be implemented. ‘Teachers should identify the strategies learners are using in order to replace ineffective or inefficient strategies with more appropriate methods’ (Kelly and Phillips, 2011). Building and maintaining a caring relationship with the child and gaining trust, helps the child communicate their needs and helps the teacher support the child efficiently. Nonetheless, knowing the child is solely not enough, the teacher needs to have an understanding of dyslexia and a vast knowledge of the effects that dyslexia may have on the child. Dyslexia may not be a result of poor teaching, instruction or upbringing but is a neurological and often genetic condition (NCLD, 2013). Despite this it is vital the child is provided with quality teaching and additional support (Rose, 2009). Rose (2009) highlights ‘success depends first and foremost on teachers who know what they are doing and why they are doing it.’ Knowing the child and looking beyond the surface behaviour to discover the underlying deficit present. These difficulties are often caused by cognitive difficulties and can vary from child to child. It is widely accepted that the common deficits associated...

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