What is dyslexia?

  • Dyslexia is one of a family of Specific Learning Difficulties.
  • Many people who have dyslexia have strong visual, creative and problem solving skills.
  • Dyslexia is not linked to intelligence but can make learning difficult.
  • Dyslexia is a life-long condition which has a substantial effect on an individual’s day to day activities and is classed as a disability under the Equality Act 2010.
  • Dyslexia varies from person to person and no two people will have the same set of strengths and weaknesses.
  • It often co-occurs with related conditions, such as dyspraxia, dyscalculia and attention deficit disorder.
  • Dyslexic individuals often have difficulty processing and remembering information.

How do I know if my child has dyslexia

Individuals with dyslexia have trouble with reading, writing, spelling and/or math even though they have the ability and have had opportunities to learn. Individuals with dyslexia can learn, but they often need specialized instruction to overcome the problem. Often these individuals, who have talented and productive minds, are said to have a language learning difference.

More information

How can I help my child?

The Parent Champion website has some ‘Top Tips’ for spelling, reading, memory and organisation explained by a teacher and mum Julianne Miller. They are designed for primary age children but can be helpful. Watch the clips by clicking here.
If you use Face Book there are some closed groups that you can join that aim to help children and relatives to cope with the challenges that comes with dyslexia and related issues. A post to the group can put you in touch with others that have had the same experience, there are also professionals who are members that can be very helpful and useful documents to download from the files on the FB page. Dyslexia support UK (Operation Diversity) and Dyslexia support UK
Understood.org has some useful tips for helping Your Child Cope With Anger and Frustration, click here to read.
Rehearsing common situations that your child finds difficult in school can help.  For example if your child has difficulty copying from the board they could explain to the teacher at the end of the class that it takes them longer to do this than other children and ask for a paper copy. If your child finds it difficult to read out loud they can politely ask if it is ok not read today and if they could speak to the teacher at the end of the class; they can then explain how this makes them feel and ask the teacher for preparation time with the passage before reading in front of the class. Understood has some other good tips, take a look by clicking here
kooth.com is a free, safe and anonymous online support for young people providing counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop and free at the point of use. Provided by XenZone it is approved and provides NHS services too.
Put yourself in your child’s shoes. For example, think of the processes you child may have to go through to answer the question, ‘What did you do at school today?’. Hear, look, listen, concentrate, remember the words, understand the words, remember what they did that day to give them ideas what to say, decide which specifics to recount, use the right words, put the words into a sentence. It might be seem straight forward but remember is could be difficult for a tired child at the end of a long day they may have struggled with.

More resources

The British Dyslexia Association is a large charity with lots of information.
Parent Champions provides a lot of information for parents. A particularly good resources is ‘Understanding Dyslexia’
Made by Dyslexia is a global charity led by successful (and famous) dyslexics such as Richard Branson, their purpose is to help the world properly understand and support dyslexia. They have some useful downloads to explain dyslexia and advocate that “It’s time we all understand dyslexia properly as a different way of thinking, not a disadvantage”.
The British Dyslexia Association have launched a new information service dylex.io for use on mobile devices that aims to be a one-stop site for everything ‘dyslexia’ whether you are dyslexic yourself, a parent of carer of someone who is dyslexic or a teacher or employer of dyslexic people. We are very happy to be listed as a useful resource.