Wondering how to help people with dyslexia read? These tested techniques and tools can help children and adults with dyslexia improve their reading levels.
How to help people with dyslexia read
Even though the stigmatization of dyslexia is not as prevalent as in the past, many misconceptions exist about this learning disability.
Many young learners struggle with phonics or the relationship between written and spoken words, and these learning difficulties can lead to issues with self-esteem and self-isolation. Therefore, it’s crucial to find effective ways to help people with dyslexia. Fortunately, special education experts and researchers have developed excellent strategies for teaching reading to people who struggle with dyslexia. Over time, dyslexia may start appearing as a superpower instead of a learning deficit.
Here are some of the most successful ways to help people with dyslexia read.
What you need to know about dyslexia
Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disorders. According to estimates, one in five children struggle with this disability. But what causes dyslexia? It’s not precisely clear what causes it, but researchers have found that genetics plays a role.
Some of the most common signs of dyslexia in young children include difficulty repeating simple rhymes and speech delay. They may also have issues with phonemic awareness or the ability to recognize sounds in specific words.
Seven or eight-year-old children may struggle to learn new words, reverse letters and numbers, or become very tired from reading. In adults, dyslexia may appear as the inability to decode signs and logos, difficulty learning the rules of a game, and inability to learn a foreign language.
Helping dyslexic students read
Working in small groups and drilling on high-frequency or sight words are recommended strategies for helping dyslexic students—but here are a few more ways teachers and parents can help children with dyslexia.
Focus on their strengths
When trying to help a student with dyslexia, it’s important not to focus on reading difficulties alone. Indeed, the student needs to develop literacy skills, but they’ll get there faster if you also notice their strengths.
Many dyslexic children grow up to become scientists, engineers, and artists or illustrators. Their struggle to easily recognize letter-sound connections or messy handwriting should not define them.
Celebrate small victories
Because overcoming dyslexia can be very difficult, celebrating even a minor success matters. An occasional high-five or “good job” will improve students’ self-esteem and help them push through when learning becomes more difficult.
Set realistic goals
It’s crucial to remember that students with dyslexia need time. Their reading capabilities will not change overnight and that should be made clear to them and the adults around them. Still, setting goals is essential, so choosing the right milestones and achievable goals can motivate the student.
Taking the time to read aloud to someone with dyslexia is helpful and also fun. If possible, read aloud to them every day. They’re more likely to develop an interest in books, and your effort to help them is motivating. However, make sure the books are age-appropriate so they can more easily follow them.
Use text to speech apps
Reading aloud makes so much difference, so you may also consider using text to speech apps to help dyslexic students. Text to speech, or TTS, tools are excellent for reading web pages, emails, text messages, and other digital text. Students can use TTS apps to study for exams and improve comprehension.
Essential dyslexia tools
How teachers and parents approach dyslexia is crucial, but the following tools can further help the students.
Here are a few excellent dyslexia tools to keep in mind:
Speechify—As a reliable text to speech software, Speechify reads text aloud using natural-sounding voices. The platform is available online, as a mobile app, and Chrome extension. Both free and paid versions are available.
Orton-Gillingham approach—This is a multi-sensory, sequential, and highly structured literacy program that helps struggling readers make connections between letters and sounds.
C-pen reader—The best way to describe a c-pen reader is as a scanner in pen form. It shows the definition of words and reads them aloud.
Audiobooks—Listening to audiobooks is convenient and helpful to students with dyslexia.
Workbooks—Many excellent workbooks are specifically designed for students with learning disabilities.
Speechify can help dyslexic people read
People with dyslexia have a hard time with the literacy learning process. Re-reading the same page several times to understand the words is a common occurrence. That’s why text to speech tools and screen readers support the learning style of dyslexic children and adults.
A text to speech tool like Speechify can read any digital text aloud and promote better reading comprehension. Apps like Speechify are a standard part of reading programs designed for dyslexic students and all struggling readers.
Speechify offers over 100 natural-sounding male and female voices and many customization options. You can adjust the reading speed, change the voice pitch, and even use the bookmarking and note-taking features.
Try Speechify for free today and experience its many benefits first-hand.
Can people with dyslexia improve their reading?
Yes, dyslexic people can use various tools to improve their reading skills. They can rely on tools like audiobooks, spell checkers, and custom reading instructions. Assistive technology like text to speech apps can also make a big difference.
What is the most important thing to remember when reading to someone with dyslexia?
There are many reading strategies parents and teachers can apply to help kids and students with dyslexia. For example, using decode-able books to improve decoding skills is a great first step.
These books focus on one phonetic code that the student already knows. Enunciating words correctly is also incredibly important. Finally, checking in with the dyslexic child or adult about their comprehension is essential.
What is the most common misconception about dyslexia?
One of the most common misconceptions about dyslexia is that it’s a vision impairment issue. That’s because people with dyslexia often write backward or reverse letters. Another misconception is that dyslexia indicates a lack of effort in learning to read, or that someone has a lack of intelligence because of it. All of these misconceptions are false.