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What Parents Can Do To Support A Child With Dyslexia

Updated: Jul 22, 2023


Brown Scrabble board tiles with letters

Dyslexia is a neurological condition that affects a person's ability to read, write, spell and comprehend language. It is estimated that around 1 in 10 people are dyslexic, so it's clear that many children and teenagers struggle with English which causes difficulties in the classroom and in other areas of life.




As a parent, it's important to understand your child's dyslexia and its impact on their learning so that you can better advocate for their needs and provide them with the support they need to succeed.


In this article, I'll explain how dyslexia can be identified, its impact on a child's learning and academic progress and what parents can do to support a child with dyslexia.


This post contains affiliate links which means, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thank you.


Dyslexia and its Impact on Learning


For dyslexic students, learning can be a frustrating experience. They may have trouble with phonological processing, which makes it difficult for them to sound out words and recognise patterns in language or have problems with their short term memory which may affect their ability to remember what they have just read. These difficulties can have a significant impact on their academic performance, particularly in subjects that require strong language skills, such as GCSE English.

The Walt Disney Statue in Disney World

However, dyslexic individuals can also be highly intelligent and creative, with a range of different skills and talents. Many of them have been famous, such as Albert Einstein, Keira Knightley, Walt Disney, Holly Willoughby, Richard Branson, Agatha Christie and Steven Spielberg.


Signs of Dyslexia in Young Learners


By identifying dyslexia early on and helping them to access the necessary support and resources to succeed, you can ensure that your child will reach their full potential in their academic and personal lives.


Not all learners with dyslexia exhibit the same signs or experience the same challenges but, if you notice any of these signs, it may be worth exploring whether dyslexia is a factor.


Alphabet poster on the wall and a young child pointing at the letters

1. Difficulty with letter recognition

Dyslexic learners may struggle with recognising letters, especially when they are in different fonts or sizes. This can make it difficult for them to read and write effectively.


2. Trouble with phonics

Phonics is the foundation of reading and writing but young dyslexic learners may struggle with decoding words or identifying and producing sounds.

There are many resources which can help with this but the one I've seen used most frequently and successfully by both intervention tutors in schools and home educating parents is "Toe by Toe: A highly structured, multi-sensory reading manual for teachers and parents" which is recommended for children aged 7 years and above.


3. Issues with word retrieval

Dyslexic learners may have difficulty retrieving the correct word when speaking or writing and this can cause frustration and impact their ability to communicate effectively.


4. Slow reading and writing

Dyslexic learners may read and write at a slower pace than their peers, struggle with comprehension and fluency and will need more time to process information.


5. Poor spelling skills

Dyslexic learners may have difficulty even with simple spellings which will be frustrating for them and impact their ability to effectively communicate through written language.


Supporting Dyslexic Learners at Home


If your child has been diagnosed with dyslexia, you will want to know how you can support them, particularly with their English studies. Here are some suggestions:

Young boy writing in a notebook at a desk

1. Create a quiet, organised space for learning


Dyslexic learners can get easily distracted by their surroundings, so it's essential to have a dedicated learning space that is quiet and organised as this will help them to stay focused on their studies.


2. Break down tasks into smaller, manageable chunks


Dyslexic learners often struggle with long tasks, so breaking them down into smaller, more manageable chunks can help them stay on track. This also helps them build confidence as they complete each task.


3. Use multi-sensory learning methods


Dyslexic learners often benefit from learning through a variety of senses, including visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. Try incorporating different learning methods into their studies, such as flashcards, audio recordings, and hands-on activities.


A young girl laying on a grey blanket and reading a book for pleasure

4. Encourage reading for pleasure


A child who struggles with reading often gets frustrated and is reluctant to read anything, especially books. Encourage your child to read comics or magazines, internet articles (or books) about subjects which interest them, as this will boost their confidence and their reading skills.


If they prefer technology over printed books, they might like an e-reader, such as an Amazon Kindle.


5. Celebrate progress and accomplishments


Dyslexic learners face unique challenges in their studies, so it's essential to celebrate their progress and accomplishments.


Recognising their efforts and achievements can help boost their self-esteem and motivate them to keep going.


A black child and her mum reading with their hands in the air

Remember, every child learns differently, so it's essential to tailor your approach to their specific needs and strengths. However, these strategies will help you to build a strong foundation for their language skills and, with patience, persistence and support, your dyslexic learner can thrive and reach their full potential.


Developing Strong Language Skills in Dyslexic Learners


Language skills are vital for success in both academic and personal life. To help your child overcome the challenges they might face in this area, you could:


1. Read aloud regularly


Reading aloud to your child is a great way to develop their language skills, as it helps them to hear and understand how words are pronounced, structured and used. It also fosters a love for reading and learning in your child.


2. Experiment with writing materials


As an alternative to using pen and paper, children could practise forming letters and words

by using plasticine, sand or by writing on a driveway or patio with chalk or water.


3. Play word games

Simple word games such as Scrabble, Boggle, Hangman, Bananagrams etc can help dyslexic learners to develop their spelling and vocabulary skills in a fun and engaging way.






4. Develop your child's verbal communication skills


In addition to reading and writing, developing your child's speaking skills is essential. Encourage your child to express themselves verbally by having regular conversations, discussions and debates on topics in which they are interested.


5. Use technology to support learning


Assistive technology can be incredibly helpful for children with dyslexia. Text-to-speech software, dictation tools, and screen readers are just a few examples of how technology can support their learning.


Finding Resources and Support for Dyslexic Learners


There is a lot of advice and a variety of resources available for your dyslexic child to help them thrive academically and socially. To begin with, you could:

1. Find out as much as you can about dyslexia.


You could buy or borrow a book, written by dyslexia specialists who can provide helpful advice and recommended resources, such as "Dyslexia: A Parent's Guide to dyslexia, dyspraxia and other learning difficulties."



Alternatively, there is a wide variety of online resources, such as YouTube, social media groups, webinars and websites which are dedicated to supporting dyslexic learners. For example, The British Dyslexia Association, Made By Dyslexia and Dyslexia Assist.


2. Ask your child's school if they can recommend some helpful dyslexia resources and / or support in your area. They might also be able to provide your child with some coloured overlays to help your child read printed texts.



3. Connect with local dyslexia support groups.

These groups can offer helpful advice and support as well as workshops, training sessions, and other helpful resources to help you support your child's learning.


4. Consider seeking out professional support for your dyslexic learner, such as a qualified and experienced English tutor or speech-language therapist.

These professionals can help your child build the specific skills they need to succeed in school and beyond.


Finding the right resources and support for your dyslexic learner can take time and effort, but the benefits of investing in their learning and well-being are immeasurable.


By encouraging their efforts, celebrating their progress, connecting with professionals and support groups and accessing helpful online resources, you can help your dyslexic learner develop the language skills they need and empower them to thrive academically and socially.



Female tutor and the owner of English Home Studies

About the Author


I’m a private tutor, a former qualified and experienced secondary school English Teacher and the founder of English Home Studies. In addition to offering 1:1 tuition sessions for students from 9 - 16 years old (Year 5 - Year 11), I create digital and printable revision guides and activity packs.


I often post advice and links to free and affordable English resources on the English Home Studies Facebook and Instagram pages but, if you have a child in KS3 or KS4, you might like to join one of my Facebook groups:



If you would like to find out more about my qualifications and experience, read some of the lovely reviews I've received from previous clients or have any questions, please have a look around my website or send me a message. Many thanks.



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