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Techniques to Manage Dyslexia in Children

Approximately 10% percent of the population is thought to be dyslexic, of which of those are 4% severely affected. It is estimated that there are about 375,000 pupils in the UK with dyslexia and a total of some two million people who are severely affected.

However, whilst there is no set “cure” for dyslexia, there are some “work around” methods that can really ease the challenges a dyslexic faces, depending upon how the disorder affects them.

You may have noticed that your child had delayed language development, which can sometimes be a clue to dyslexia later on. Some children jumble up the pronunciation of words or use the wrong words in the wrong context, or find it tricky to string a sentence together. They may struggle with learning the alphabet or with hearing patterns in words such as rhymes. However it’s important to recognize that children learn at different paces and some will master these skills later. If they miss a developmental milestone, it isn’t yet cause for a diagnosis.

School work will often highlight challenges that might then lead to some further investigation.

As well as continuing to experience some of the difficulties mentioned above, it may become apparent that there are further challenges with spellings and getting numbers or figures around the wrong way.

Some dyslexics report that the letters seem to move around the page and may put letters in words in the wrong order.

They may have difficulty in reading too, causing them to be slow or distracted by the layout or format of pages.

Often dyslexic children will have the correct answer and are able to talk to you about it, but they freeze up when they have to write it, their handwriting may be poor or it might take them a long time to complete written tasks.

They may also find sequences challenging, such as following set directions or remembering the order of days of the week.

The NHS recommends that if your child is experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, you should first speak to your GP, to check that your child has good hearing and vision as defects in these areas may also cause similar problems.

It is worthwhile speaking to your child’s teacher too. There may need to be a small adjustment in how your child is taught to overcome the challenges.

If having tried these steps and your child is still experiencing difficulties, it may be worth pursuing an assessment for a formal diagnosis so that provisions can be made for the needs that they have.

It’s very important that your child doesn’t perceive their dyslexia as a disability. In fact many of the worlds best entrepreneurs are dyslexic. Many famous dyslexics report that their dyslexia provides them with the kind of mind that thinks in a different way, which has contributed to their success.

Knowing that your child’s mind works in a different way, consider what techniques can be used to help them work around the standard ways, that they will likely be taught throughout their school life. Some of these techniques may be quite practical, such as allowing your child to engage with audio books instead of physical books, so that they can still develop a passion for literacy.

However there are techniques within NLP that will encourage better memory skills, and help them to keep letters still as they spell them. Helping children control their visual data (their images they see in their mind), can be of great use to those who are dyslexic. An NLP4Kids trained practitioner like Lisa Birtles (lisa@lifecareercoaching.co.uk) who is based in Manchester, can talk you through how these techniques work.

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