The information and advice on this site is provided by a dyslexic, giving inside knowledge on the various ways of coping with Dyslexia and Learning Disability.
Weakness of all is the great fear of appearing weak, LD / Dyslexics face their fears everyday in school, thus are some of the fearless people I know. "from the * Author * of the book DYSLEXIA* MY LIFE *
As a person with dyslexia I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share with you some guidelines to you and/or help others with learning differences. The following are suggestions based upon the techniques I found to be most helpful as a child and as an adult.
DML's 13 top list of things to do for LD and dyslexia:
1. Give hope.
2. To understand them watch: "HOW DIFFICULT CAN THIS BE? a F.A.T. City Workshop". For kids with learning disabilities, the classroom can be an intimidating place. In this videotaped workshop, Richard Lavoie shows why. He leads a group of parents, educators, psychologists and children through a series of exercises that cause frustration... feelings all too familiar to LD children. Check your local library or amazon.com
3. Read/listen to the book Dyslexia My Life . ISBN: 096430871-1
4. Use alternatives to books: software that reads text on a PC or MAC, closed captioned television, textbooks and other books on tape, books on audio cassette. To find out more, call 1-800-424-8567.
5. Use a shape based system. When programming computers to read, phonics is used instead of memorization. In my experience many kids learn through the process of phonics and not memorization.
6. Develop a visual clue to remember something. To help with left right disorientation here's a simple trick: When you hold your hands up in front of you, as you view your thumb and index finger on your LEFT hand, you see the letter "L". Words and symbols are often visually confusing to people with dyslexia. Having fun with those words and symbols helps. Some examples: "their" and "there" --"Their" has an "i" in it, and "I am part of 'their' party"; "where" and "were"--"Where" has an "h" in it as in "My house is here"; math signs <, > is an open mouth. The <2. Many persons with learning disabilities tend to be graphical and 3 dimensional in their thinking versus learning by text, or 2 dimensional. They must see a picture in their mind in order to learn. For example, if a child needs to learn the song "Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandmother's House We Go", it may work best to have the child draw a picture of hills and woods and a house. Many times the person with dyslexia sees different letters as the same one. For example, the letters "b","d","p", and "q" look as though they are all the same letter. It is as though you took a picture of a car and turned the car upside down. The car is still the same car. To help a person distinguish between letters use pictures with the actual letter. For instance, write the letter "q" and draw a queen's crown across the top. The child will associate the queen's crown with the letter "q".
7. Explain/understand that dyslexics think differently and this is a positive thing. From Don Krueyer, an artist with dyslexia, here are some labels you might want to use:
----------------------LD- Leering Demonically
----------------------ED- Exceptionally Distracted
----------------------SE- Specific Education
----------------------BD- Behavior Disorders or Bountiful Distracters
8. Let them do what ever they do best -- running, skating, etc. Give them time each day to do this. Many people with dyslexia are non-verbal thinkers. Using objects such as clay, LEGGOS, or sand to "build" new words allows the individual to utilize his/her creative outlet and accomplish an otherwise frustrating task. They will develop mental pictures, concepts or ideas using the "hands-on" materials.
9. Have them repeat instructions and give all instructions on paper as a checklist. Many children with LD are easily distracted or may have trouble following instructions. It may be helpful to everyone if you ask the child to repeat instructions or directions back to you before he/she begins the task or goes to a particular place.
10. Use colors to organize things as much as possible. Color code notebooks to match textbooks and folders. Put three lines of spaces between test questions.
11. Join a support group -- local if possible.
12. Dyslexics and many people with LD benefit from a reading program which develops auditory processing, the ability to distinguish sounds in a syllable. Look into enrolling in a program that develops this phonemic awareness.
13. I get asked what kind of software I like and use, I like software that reads back to me what I write. Something not to much money. I have use this one for years. Text aloud Free trial of Text aloud Good text to speech software that will read what you write or what you need to read.
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*Teachers - please give the notes from your lectures to children with dyslexia or LD before class. Let them highlight the notes beforehand so that they can work harder on listening to what you have to say instead of concentrating so hard on note taking.
* Please allow the child to perform oral reports
"This is easy."
My mom always told me I was a happy baby. As I grew, she ended the same sentence with "What happened". To answer her question, I say "School happened." Daily agonizing. flunking tests, being laughed at by my peers, humiliated by my teachers in front of the entire class, attending special classes - all of these events were a part of my daily routine. When arriving home from school each day I would spend time alone in my room healing. It is important to give children with LD their own space and or workshop where they can play, foster creativity and be messy. Many people with learning disabilities are naturally messy. I hear parents complain that "They can't get their child's teacher to understand." In the same breath that parent will say "No matter how many times I tell my child he/she can not keep his/her room clean." More than likely the messiness is all a part of the learning disability. Just remember that these children and adults need a safe place to be themselves and unwind. School is anything but easy for them.
It is extremely likely that in a family unit there may be more than one sibling or parent who also have dyslexia and other learning differences that may have gone undiagnosed. However, when a child in a single family unit is the only one with a learning disability it can be even more devestating to the child with LD. I try to convey a message to the entire family - from parents to siblings that make excellent grades that they are all intelligent. It becomes a matter of learning differently - and remember that learning differently is not learning wrong. Standardized testing in school systems across the country generally test from a logical standpoint with questions that have a one correct answer and if that one correct answer is not chosen it is WRONG! Again, many people with LD think creatively and 3 dimensionally. Unfortunately, creative intelligence is not a part of the standardized test, therefore those same children have low test scores.
Dyslexia is not a disease. The word sounds frightening but it really is not. The word dyslexia comes from the Greek language, meaning poor language. People with dyslexia have may have trouble with language even though they have the ability and have opportunities to learn. As mentioned above, people with dyslexia and other learning disabilities CAN learn. They just learn things differently. I actually prefer to call learning disabilities - learning differences. Again, people with LD learn more from a creative perspective - not a logical one. For example, forming pictures in their mind and not text or using poetry or rhyming to memorize. As many as one in ten people have dyslexia.
Remember, your worst day as a teacher or parent with a child with learning disabilities is still better than the average day a child with LD will have in school.
If you are a person with learning disabilities remember to find someone to talk with. Even if you do not talk with anyone, you have the opportunity to write down your feelings and even throw them away before anyone can read your thoughts. This allows your feelings to be expressed and validated.
When studying for a test have a soft, pleasant aroma surround you. While taking the test, imagine that same scent. It may help you recall what you have studied.
A point for everyone: Please remember to be silent immediately after asking a question to a person with LD. A person with dyslexia will use some extra time to concentrate on changing the words into pictures, then arriving at the answer, changing back to words and then to speaking. It is comparable to a foreign language.
Play PIG, HORSE, ect. basketball. Use words the child has trouble learning. Each time a person makes a basket they earn a letter until the word is spelled. Play other word games like Scrabble or Hangman.
If a child is having problems spelling a word, have them spell it aloud as they read it and draw a picture of the word. Repeat this exercise one hour later, two hours later, ect…and continue the next day with the same word for the entire week. They must repeat the word to form a new word/shape in their mind.
Most school systems do not test for dyslexia or other learning disabilities. They just put all "slow learners" in one classroom or learning center. Do not assume that school systems always know best. My mom was told that I was mentally retarded by a particular school system. I now have earned a masters degree from an accredited college. Many teachers are not trained extensively in teaching children with LD.
Get your child's hearing checked. It may be a hearing disability between similar letters like "f" and "s" or "b" and "d".
Make up riddles and songs to describe objects, words, and spelling of words-Again this allows the person to remember the item better by forming a picture in their mind.
Cover the reading pages with a red or blue transparent sheet. This may cut light down to one color. Sometimes when reading from white paper people with dyslexia see many different colors from the light that is being exposed. This adds to the confusion of reading when different shades hit their eyes. You may also try wearing sunglasses inside.
Dyslexia is not a disease to have and be cured of, but a way of thinking and learning. Often, it is a gifted mind waiting to be found and taught.
As a child I had very low self-esteem. Most of the time I had feelings of worthlessness and felt as though nobody cared about me. It wasn't until I turned my faith to Jesus Christ that my self- esteem improved dramatically. I learned that no matter what people said about me, no matter what kind of names they called me, no matter how I was treated by others, HE still loved me…unconditionally…and none could take that away.
Here in brief, are the essentials of this approach:
According to Dale S. Brown of the president's committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (Washington D.C.) As a person with dyslexia you are entitled to reasonable accommodations from your employer if they are covered by the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Remember, it is also your responsibility to research on your own before asking for help. The following are some suggested solutions for problems one may encounter in dealing with dyslexia in the workplace:
Problem: You have severe difficulty reading. As a matter of fact, someone is reading this article to you.
Solutions: Have someone else read it to you; get written memos placed on your voice mail; Have your boss tell you what needs to be done instead of having instructions written; phone people instead of writing them; Have someone highlight important information…
Problem: Your reading problem is not severe but it is still difficult for you to read large amounts of material.
Solutions: Discuss the material with co-workers; get information through drawings or diagrams and flow charts; If possible, request voice output on your computer.
Problem: You have visual perceptual problems, causing you to have difficulty locating objects so you lose things frequently.
Solutions: Keep your work area well organized; color - code items such as files and notebooks; put important objects in the same place each time.
Problem: You have auditory - perceptual problems, causing you difficulty in following verbal instructions.
Solutions: Ask people to write down important information; Ask people to give you instructions slowly and clearly - in a quiet location; Repeat instructions back to others to verify that what you understand is correct; Tape record important procedures so that you can listen to them over again as many times as necessary.
Problem: You have left/right disorientation. You have been known to get lost in your own office building and driving a car is a major obstacle because you have difficulty following directions due to spatial disorientation.
Solutions: Use maps; Find a mentor who will navigate and teach you how to get to and from different places; Find ways to display visual cues so that you can differentiate between left and right. For instance, putting up pictures in a certain hallway.
Problem: You are a person with dyslexia who would like to learn more about other individuals coping strategies and hear stories so you know that you are not alone.
Solution: BIG ONE - Buy my book DYSLEXIA MY LIFE. You didn't think I was going to throw in a sales pitch did you? Okay, if you aren't able to purchase it immediately, check it out on the Barns and Noble web site. It is well worth looking into. Still not convinced? Check out more of my readers on my web site as did the following reader…
"I recently visited your web site. Our nine year old
is dyslexic. I found your tips to be very helpful. Another you may like
to add is this.. Tricia, our daughter uses her watch (which has hands)
to remember which way to write her numbers. Numbers three, seven, and
seem to be the hardest. All she has to do is look at her watch and copy
them down. It doesn't always work, but it's another little trick to
MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthScoutNews) -- Scientists can help dyslexic children read better with an ironic new method that doesn't involve the printed word.
Finnish researchers say audiovisual drills that employ shapes and sounds can improve scores in children with the reading disorder. They say the therapy boosts activity in areas of the brain integral to the processing of sound, a fundament of language.
A report on the findings appears in the Aug. 21 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (news - web sites).
A research team led by Teija Kujala, a neuroscientist at the University of Helsinki, started with a group of 48 children, all aged 7, with reading impairments.
The children first were tested to measure their reading accuracy, speed, spelling and how often they missed sounds within words. Not surprisingly, the dyslexic children scored worse across the board than a group of six other children without the condition.
Half the dyslexic children then were given seven weeks of audiovisual training, including 14 short sessions in which they matched shapes with sounds on a computer screen.
After the training the children were given brain scans that showed more activity in their auditory cortex, a region responsible for processing sound, than those who didn't undergo the drilling. They also scored significantly better in a second round of reading tests, getting more words correct and reading slightly faster than the untrained group.
Whether the benefits of the training will last after it stops isn't certain, since the study didn't look at this question, Kujala says. "However, it could be expected that the effect of training is something that does not vanish because this is a clear transfer phenomenon from training to another function" -- that is, reading, she says.
Scientists are split as to whether dyslexia is primarily an auditory or a visual problem, Kujala says. "This method presumably works best on the latter type of dysfunction, but more work is needed, comparing the effects of the training program on different types of dyslexia, before we can tell more about this."
If effective, the technique would not be hard to implement on a broad scale, she says. "Since it is simple and computer-based, children learn it easily, and it can be applied already in the first grade."
J. Thomas Viall, executive director of the International Dyslexia Association in Baltimore, says the Finnish report is promising, but he cautions that dyslexia appears to be a condition without a cure. "There isn't going to be cure. There may be a way to help you learn to learn better," but nothing has yet suggested that it can be reversed, Viall says.
What To Do
Some evidence suggests that the signs of dyslexia
be identified in children who have trouble with certain sounds,
rhyming, says Viall. He encourages parents to pay attention to their
children's rhyming and phonetic abilities.
by Eileen Hammar & Anne Malatchi
(*With acknowledgment and thanks to Stephen Covey)
Taking initiative does not mean being pushy, obnoxious, or aggressive. It does mean recognizing our responsibility to make things happen." Fundamental in our efforts to become proactive members of IEP teams is adopting an attitude that is collaborative, facilitative, and responsible. To be proactive requires a shift in our thinking from a deficit based model of education to a capacity model. Often, goals for IEPs are developed as a result of a label, or something that appears to be 'wrong'--i.e. reacting to a behavior that others do not think is acceptable. Proactive goals and objectives are based on the premise that the entire team is responsible
for making things happen. "John will use a transition object such as a computer disc when it is time to go to computer class." The team realizes if John knows in advance it will soon be computer time, and can carry something with him to remind him where he is going, he will be less likely to exhibit challenging behaviors when asked to go to computer class.
2. Begin With the End in Mind
3. Put First Things First
4. Think Win-Win
5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
6. Synergize "Synergy works; it's a correct principle. It is the
achievement of all the previous habits. It is effectiveness in an
reality-- it is teamwork, team building, the development of unity and
with other human beings."
7. Sharpening the Saw "This is the habit of renewal...It circles and embodies all the other habits. It is the habit of continuous improvement...that lifts you to new levels of understanding and living each of the habits." Celebrations of success are one of the keys to effective IEP teams. These celebrations recognize the achievements we have made. They also energize us to keep on this collaborative journey with a student toward of life of his or her choosing. Take time to snack! Share stories -- funny and serious Offer words of appreciation Acknowledge gifts and talents of all team members Renew commitment to the journey
When it comes to calming
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Thank you for visiting my web site today. I wish you the best of luck in all of your endeavors. Please feel free to write or email me if you would like to learn more about how you can become an advocate for people with dyslexia.
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to hearing from you!
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