Friday, August 9, 2013

Supporting People with Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a condition whereby sufferers struggle with the comprehension, and often writing, of written language. Some dyslexics say that words appear to ‘swim’ on the page, whereas others may find that letters appear jumbled, or it may be that they find it difficult to write letters the right way round or in the correct order. It is a frustrating condition which qualifies as a learning difficulty, and those with dyslexia often require special measures to help them in daily life.
For many people, dyslexia is first detected at school where teachers recognise that the child is struggling to keep up with their reading and writing. The child may have a completely normal intelligence level, but will struggle with their written literacy. The child will then undergo tests, and if a dyslexia diagnosis is suggested, the school will need to find a way to support that child to help them learn at the same rate. Specialist dyslexia schools also exist to help children with the condition.

Dyslexia can improve with age and as a result of learning special techniques to override the condition, but it won’t necessarily disappear completely. Adults in the workplace might need a bit of extra help, especially with the prevalence of computer-based office work which requires a lot of reading and typing, which can be tricky for dyslexics. Employers should take advantage of the technology on offer for dyslexics to help them read more easily.

Screen filters work in the same way as an acetate paper filter. These are the virtual equivalent of the tinted sheets of plastic used in schools based on evidence that reading through a coloured filter can help reduce the ‘swimming’ effects of letters on the page. It may also be possible to use a screen reader program to read the contents of the screen out loud via headphones to the user, or you could provide them with a bigger screen for magnified working.

One of the most important things to remember is that dyslexia is not the fault of the sufferer, and this condition is far more frustrating for them than it is for you. The best thing you can do is to be patient, not to hurry them along and not to jump in and read things out for them unless they ask you to. This can add to their frustration which could then make it even harder for them to focus on reading, so let them read and write at their own pace and only help them along when requested.

Charlie Bail is a mother to two young children, one of whom suffers with dyslexia. She spends her time helping to increase awareness and support for the condition

1 comment:

  1. Any disorder in kids requires us the parents to be patient and ever encouraging.

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