Unfortunately writing for dyslexics doesn’t always come easily. The ideas are all there, it’s just the ability to get them down on paper which seems daunting. With Sam being at home with me, it has become really apparent that he is definitely one of those reluctant writers (well for me anyway).
Recently I discovered these great short films by the BBC featuring KS2 & KS3 students discussing some of their difficulties and what helped them.[
There are a lot of ways to aid reluctant writers, some of which Sam is already familiar with. However, there are a few tips here that I will definitely be introducing at home to see if they will help.
5 Top Tips for Reluctant Writers
1. Ergonomic Pen/Pencil
A dyslexic child may grip the pen differently, and this can make writing hard and even painful at times. Ergonomic pens can help to ensure that the pen is held correctly at all times. We’ve just ordered the Stabilo EASYvergo to see if this helps.
2. Reduce handwriting required
Allow the child to use a computer if that helps, rather than insist on handwriting. Sam isn’t that keen on typing either yet, so things like tick boxes and multiple-choice can help. One of our favourites is to use a ‘fill in the gaps’ way of working to reduce the amount of handwriting needed.
3. Use mnemonics
Encouraging the use of mnemonics can help with spelling, reducing worry. For example, Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants to remember how to spell BECAUSE. Or one that I always used to get wrong was stationery/stationary. I remember it as a c’A’r is station’A’ry and p’E’ns are station’E’ry.
4. Visual Prompts
Similar to mnemonics, children can use visual prompts to remind them of spellings. There, Their, They’re is a perfect example. Check out the video to see exactly how it works.
5. Examples of work
I have noticed that if Sam is presented with a sheet of work and/or instructions then he can almost immediately talk himself out of being able to do it. Whereas if he is presented with the same sheet, with an example of what is required, like a starter sentence, story mountain etc. then he is much more open to working, and understanding what is required.
Dyslexic children need a boost to their self-confidence before they can learn to overcome their difficulties. Quite often, especially in the early days of diagnosis, they have already experienced ‘failure’. Also deep down they often don’t believe they are capable of learning. Consequently, to restore their self-confidence they need to be provided with the chance to succeed. And praise should be given for all achievements (even if small).
I struggled with this initially as I was never quite sure what Sam should have been achieving. Therefore I quite often didn’t praise small achievements as I was expecting too much.
If you liked this post then please click on the category below to see more posts:
And why not follow my Pinterest board, for even more awesome learning support, information and activities