Early intervention for dyslexia (Why it’s important)

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I remember feeling amazed at the progress of my two P4 students early on in my teaching career. They arrived in my classroom not able to spell simple 3-letter words such as “pin” or “top” even at the age of 10. However, with a mere three terms of intervention, were able to spell 5-letter words confidently and were even able to construct simple sentences.

This stood out in contrast to a very hard working Sec 4 student I taught, who no matter how she tried, could never seem to grasp the concepts which came so naturally to the P4 students. And there was limited progress even as I tried to help her to the very best of my abilities.

It was only after reading some research about it that I understood why this was the case. Emilio Ferrer, a UC Davis Professor noted in his paper that:

“If the persistent achievement gap between dyslexic and typical readers is to be narrowed, even closed, reading interventions must be implemented early, when children are still developing the basic foundation for reading acquisition.”

I realise that this was because neuroplasticity is most apparent at a younger age and the child’s brain is able to change and reorganise itself to accommodate the techniques taught to them, which is also a point noted by psychologist Moshe Shtuhl.

Here at The Alternative Education, we offer early intervention for your child from Primary 1 and beyond.

Email us at the.alternative.edu@gmail.com or text us at 8749 2441 to find out more about our services.

5 Great Tips to Help a Dyslexic Kid

Here are 5 tips I’ve rounded up to help your dyslexic child learn better.

1. Easy-to-read Font

Open Dyslexic is a new open source font created to help increase readability for users with dyslexia. You can download it and try printing worksheets for your child. Older students may be used to traditional fonts, so it is advised you use this with discretion. It is free and can be used with both Mac, Windows, and for phones, tablets, and computers.

open-dyslexic

https://opendyslexic.org/

2. Text to speech Reader

You can drag and drop files into Natural Readers web application and immediately listen to the text. It can be converted to audio files you can download so that you can listen to it anywhere. It also offers 57 different voices and works with a variety of file formats (PDF, Word, TXT, RTF, EPUP).

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https://www.naturalreaders.com/

3. Request for Extra Time in School Exams

Now known as “access arrangements”, you can request for extra time for examinations for your child via the form teacher. However, this has to be carefully considered. Some kids might feel like they are “different” from the rest or might be made fun of by his/her classmates as they either stay back after the exam ends or are placed in a different room. However, this can be very useful if your child reads very slowly.

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4. Online dyslexia test

Do you suspect your child has dyslexia but are not willing to pay $1,000 for as assessment just yet? You can try this free online assessment tool that uses made-up words to test the phonological awareness of your child.

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Basically, the word flashes on the screen, and your child reads the word. You then click on the button to read the word for you and then click “Correct” if it matches what your child read, and “Incorrect” if it doesn’t.

This is much better than the other assessment tools I found online that uses parents’ observations of their child’s ability as that is more subjective.

5. Online Phoneme Game

Phoneme Pop is a great online game that also has a mobile friendly version to help young children who are unfamiliar with their phonemes to practice it in a non-threatening environment.

dyslexia-game

That’s the end of the 5 good tips to help a dyslexic kid. If you’d like to engage a tutor for your dyslexic kid, do email us at the.alternative.edu@gmail.com or text/Whatsapp us at 8749 2441 for more details. You can also find out more about us here.