Strategies for Dyslexia
If you'd like a plan that's designed around your set of issues, please do get in contact
1. If you have a problem writing your thoughts down
Often dyslexics will have too many ideas, all rushing to get out, but as soon as they are asked to write these ideas down they evaporate either through
Strategies you can use to help putting your thoughts on paper
- Writing ideas on post-it notes allows the ideas to be scattered, and then ordered later
- They can be given examples of what is expected from the written project. This helps with structure and boundaries, giving the dyslexic an idea of the standard needed
- Spellings to be noted and worked on for future writing
- Record the timescale of how long a written piece is expected to take, how long it actually takes, how long you would like it to take. And we will work with these aims
- Dictation packages are very helpful. There is now a lot of free dictation software
2. If you have difficulties with spelling
We often rub out or delete our spellings in frustration and tell ourselves we can’t spell.
However I have often found while supporting people the spelling difficulties, that the majority of a word is spelt correctly but often there is a letter or two missing, or in the wrong place.
Often athletes will look at a video of their performance to see how they can best improve.
Understanding where your errors lie is the key to your improvement. "Why" is my favourite word for unlocking dyslexia difficulties?
Strategies you can use to help with your spelling
- Write the word really large on flip chart paper
- Trace your finger over the words to engage your motor memory skills
- Use coloured highlighters to remember keyword key letters
- Close your eyes and visualise the word
- Write it again and see how it’s changed
3. What can help you when you have short term memory issues
A short term memory problems is when you have difficulty remembering verbal information, a list of facts, numbers, names, email addresses, homework instructions or directions (thank the lord for Google maps!)
Dyslexics struggle to remember verbal information long enough to write it down. Taking notes whilst someone is talking is also extremely difficult.
Short term memory difficulties are a very common for dyslexics. Doing revision for exams, taking instruction during a driving lesson, orders to be filled, are all extremely stressful.
Mind Palaces (how to make a Mind Palace)
Dyslexics can be very strong visual thinkers and this can be used to create ‘mind palaces’ link?
I recently worked with a client who found the mind palace concept very helpful and developed a strategy by using a map from a board game. She used each part of the map to help her remember the information she needed to record. The client has passed her exams and her anxiety levels have reduced considerably.
She has shared the strategy with colleagues.
A dictaphone can be very helpful in capturing verbal instructions.
4. What do you do if you have difficulties extracting information from written or online documents
Reports, fiction and non-fiction exam questions can easily be misread, assignment briefs can be elusive
Often dyslexia difficulties can be masked or hidden if someone has an ability to read out loud. They can, for example, phonically decode and blend the words but this doesn’t always mean they are reading for meaning.
A struggle to summarise information can also be an indicator of an underlying difficulty.
Take the worry out of reading
Find an author whose writing style you can connect with.
Where writing is not accessible and cohesive, question the author's ability to communicate, rather than your own understanding of the text.
I ask the dyslexic student to become an "investigator" whilst reading, and ask themselves questions. These questions might include "is this information relevant to my project?", "what is the author trying show here".
I ask students to scan a report to familiarise themselves with a text, then to read it again asking questions using a highlighter to identify the key points.
- Anxiety about spelling
- Not knowing how to start the sentence
- What sequence to write the thoughts
- The ideas seemed a lot better in the imagination, it's a bit like when you see an amazing scene and you try and draw it. The drawing does not match the imagined the picture in your head