Is your child with learning disability particularly struggling with reading? Do you find him/her constantly confusing between alphabets and numbers?
Well, facing difficulties in reading is one of the most common and prevalent outcomes of learning disabilities (Dyslexia). As a parent, it is justified on your part if you’re feeling extremely worried about your child’s academic performance.
However, you can genuinely give your worry some rest. As surprising as it may sound at this point, your child’s reading problems can be addressed and tackled with a few well-thought and proven tactics.
Parents and teachers dealing with children suffering from LD have benefitted immensely with some specific techniques. Here are the top 7 ways you can follow to help your child who is struggling with reading –
Make Connections While Reading
Reading difficulties can be of various types and one among them is the difficulty to retain what has been just read. The easiest way of addressing this problem is by making connections. While teaching, you could connect the lesson to practically anything that your child is already aware of.
For instance, you can mention about the food that he/she loves or a place that you have visited together on a vacation. By talking about these connections, you can definitely inspire your child to find out more. Doing so has been proven to sharpen a child’s focus and deepen the understanding level.
Helping a child struggling with reading is essentially about helping him/her focus better. In order to help, you can pose questions amidst the reading sessions to spark your child’s curiosity and ignite their desire to find the answers. Asking questions allows and encourages a child to look for clues in the lessons.
Alongside asking questions, you can encourage the child to ask you whatever questions pop up in his/her mind as well. When the child does so, you can know for sure that the lesson is getting ingrained into his/her little but intelligent mind. In fact, if you praise your child for raising a very pertinent question, he/she would feel more encouraged to think through and ask better.
Create Visual Images
It has been found that children with learning disabilities have strong visual senses. As such, visual impact is known to work best for them.
Creating visual images, while they read helps to make the text alive for them. Also technically referred to as ‘mind movies’, this process makes the story more memorable for the child.
While teaching, you can initiate the process and gradually ask your little one to read out aloud and describe the pictures he/she sees in imagination. This way, you could share each other’s mind movies and make reading easy and more effective.
Inferences are essentially drawn from the clues that we get. In a simpler but similar way, you can inspire your child to draw inferences while reading.
For instance, if the child is reading a story that talks about a boy who wanders about in the woods and meets a magician, you could stop him/her in the middle and ask as to what to he/she thinks will happen to the boy. This way, you will gather an idea of the child’s concentration level. When you continue to do this, your child will become more aware and automatically start predicting the future. He/she will thereby look forward to it and try to find out if he/she was right.
Categorize And Highlight The Important Parts
Reading is not just about reading a story but also learning lessons in science, social studies and so on. It is important to categorize what is most important and what must be remembered.
So, you could make a list of the main points; highlight them in bold or a different color for easy identification by your child.
You should make sure to never let your child keep on reading without understanding because that’s precisely when he/she will fail to retain the lesson.
You can make it a rule for your child to raise the hands whenever there is a difficulty in reading or comprehension. Post addressing the issue, you could ask the little one to re-read, aloud or slowly, whichever way suits well. You could stop to identify the difficult to comprehend words and phrases, and break them down for your child so as to reduce the difficulty in understanding them.
Allow Reading as Per Choice
If any child likes to read about something, in particular, you shouldn’t stop them. Doing so aggravates his/her reading difficulties and makes him/her stay away from it as much as possible.
You should make it a point to encourage reading everything in order to form the habit and a love for it in the very first place.
As a parent, you must recognize and also understand that facing a difficulty in reading has nothing to do with the intelligence level of your child. You should never allow your little one to feel misunderstood at least on these grounds ever. You must remember that reading difficulty is a genuine problem, and it can be reduced greatly by following the above ways described. All the situation needs is a bit of extra care and support from your end, and in no time you’ll see your child performing greatly.
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