Resource Books for Parents of Dyslexic Children

The Gift of Dyslexia 

by Ronald D. Davis


This book is written with much of Ronald’s personal experiences shared and his explanation of why some of the smartest people can’t read, and how they can learn. He has an entire chapter dedicated to symptoms of disorientation breaking it down into topics such as vision, hearing, balance/movement, time, as well as compulsive solutions and ability assessments. He also shares specifically how to implement his procedures that allow you to do something about the symptoms you see in your child.

Overcoming Dyslexia 

by Sally Shaywitz. MD


This is a pretty popular book about dyslexia. It is scientific based and touches on solutions for many different reading levels. There is a section in the book that outlines a guide to age appropriate reading skill development and then later a section that breaks down clues of dyslexia as early as the preschool years on through adulthood.

When Your Child Has… Dyslexia 

by Abigail Marshall


This is a nice pocket size book that gives a wide range of quick dyslexia related solutions, explanations, and things to consider. I love that she has a section specific to getting help at school including 504 specific accommodations. Once a diagnosis is given for your child, you must apprise yourself of what 504 is and the impact of properly completed 504 paperwork. Without it you can not gain accommodations and modifications for your child at school.

Books Your Dyslexic Child Will Love

Children with dyslexia, whose brains take longer than typical kids’ to decode what’s on a page and understand it as a story, find reading a chore. And why wouldn’t they? Chances are, what they’re most often given to read in school are books that feel more homework-y than heavenly. Many dyslexic children give up before they get to the end, and a story not fully told is never going to engage them. So how do you choose books that have a chance to hook readers who struggle to, well, read? One approach is to find books about kids with their same difficulties, having marvelous adventures despite their issues. Here are a few we found that can be read independently or together with a parent...

It's Called Dyslexia

by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos, illustrated by Marta Fábrega


It’s Called Dyslexia is part of a series of books called Live and Learn, each written from the point of view of a child with a learning or other disability. In this story, an elementary-aged girl goes from loving school (she knows her letters!), to hating it (the letters simply won’t arrange themselves into words!), until she gets help and, as a bonus, discovers a hidden talent. A section for parents is also included.
Ages 4 - 7

Tacky the Penguin

by Helen Lester, illustrated by Lynn M. Munsinger


Kids with dyslexia, as well as other differences, should get the message early on that there’s more than one way to be, to think, to read, and to write. In this enchanting children’s book, we find Tacky: An oddball, out-of-the-box thinker struggling to fit in with a colony of perfect penguins, and learning how to think positively about his lack of “perfection.”
Ages 4 - 7

Fish in a Tree

by Lynda Mullaly Hunt


Ally’s creativity is boundless; she sees art and moving images in everything and everyone around her. But when it comes to reading, the world stops. Time freezes. Panic sets in. With her dad in the military, Ally’s moved around a lot, and each time she lands at a new school, she’s able to create enough of a distraction to mask her reading difficulties. That changes when she meets Mr. Daniels, a teacher who sees past Ally’s antics and helps her make sense of reading and herself.
Ages 8 - 12

 

Helpful strategies

 

 

TIPS-

Remember to always point out how proud you are of your child every day. Mention things they are doing well and tell them how happy they make you feel.

 

Find and develop Gifted Areas: (spend more time on gifted areas than on homework)

 

-Art (not just painting and sketching but great sculptures, photography, fashion and web design).

-Athletics (get them involved in sports).

-Music (vocal or instrumental- stay away from printed music. Find a teacher that will teach by ear).

-Great people skills (natural leaders, great sense of humor, and great with animals).

-Amazing intuition.

-Mechanical skills, good logic.

-3-D visualization (can see ideas and answers but have trouble explaining).

-Extremely curious.

-Creative, global “out of the box” thinkers (approach and solve problems from different angles).

 

Stop any other reading intervention system. Use only one Orton-Gillingham system at a time. Procedures and rules are different in each system. Using more than one method will only confuse your child, make learning more difficult, and slow down their progress.

 

 

ACCOMODATIONS-

 

"At Home"

 

HOMEWORK-

  1. Stop the HW wars (hours of tears, frustration and anger).

  2. Set the amount of time your child can handle HW and communicate this with the teacher.

  3. Read everything sent home to your child (textbooks, notes, directions, handouts).

  4. NO “reading practice” for 20-30 minutes on reading logs.

  5. Be your child’s scribe. Write down your child answers- allow him to respond out loud and write down his answers. Do not have him copy over what you have written down.

  6. Ignore weekly spelling tests sent home- your child cannot retain spelling words from one week to the next. Don’t worry about failed grades. Your tutor will teach your child how to spell and provide them with frequent spelling tests. Colleges will never care about your child’s spelling grades from school.

 

"In the Classroom"

 

NO MORE-

  1. Reading out loud in class- unless volunteering to read.

  2. Spelling bees- avoid humiliation in front of the whole class.

  3. Passing grading papers/tests down the row for others to see mistakes.

  4. Switching papers to grade each other papers.

  5. Accelerated reader progress charts in the front of the room.

  6. Withholding child back from recess or lunch to finish work.

 

Prove what he knows instead-

  1. Oral testing- let someone ask him the questions out loud and answer out loud.

  2. Ignore spelling and grammar errors.

  3. Grade strictly on content.

  4. Shorten assignments.

  5. Allow students to use assistive technology tools in the classroom (audio books, calculator, word prediction software). Ask for this. Federal law requires schools have this. If a school declines, ask the school to provide you with documentation that supports that decision. Request to see data from both using assistive technology and without it to compare.

 

 

You are not alone. Dyslexia impacts 1 in 5 children. Talk to someone that understands your struggle. Decoding Dyslexia is a support networks across the country with useful information. Educate, advocate, and legislate to improve laws for screening and accommodating students with special needs. 

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