If your child has dyslexia, you may feel uncertain about what that means for her ability to learn to read and write. Dyslexia is a lifelong issue. But with proper help, kids with dyslexia can learn to read and write well. Here’s a look at what helps kids with dyslexia.
As you read, keep in mind that there are many non-medical ways to help your child with dyslexia. Take a look at these success stories.
Did you know that your child may be eligible for free digital text-to-speech books? Learn more.
Are there medications to help kids with dyslexia?
No medications can treat dyslexia. The brain of a child who has dyslexia processes and interprets information differently than the brain of a child who does not have dyslexia. Medicine can’t help kids process information differently.
However, almost one-third of kids who have dyslexia also have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Sometimes, treating ADHD with medication can be helpful. In that case, the medication is for ADHD, not dyslexia.
Some kids with dyslexia may also deal with anxiety or depression. If this is the case for your child, talk to her doctor about whether an anti-anxiety medication or an antidepressant medication could help.
What types of therapy and intervention can help kids with dyslexia?
Kids with dyslexia can benefit from speech therapy to work on what’s called “phonemic awareness.” Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and work with the sounds of letters and letter combinations.
A speech therapist may also work on phonics (the relationship between letters and the sounds they make) and language skills. In some cases, a specially trained reading specialist may do this type of therapy instead of a speech therapist.
You may also want to explore educational therapy. This type of therapy helps kids develop strategies for working around their issues and dealing with frustration.
If your child has ADHD in addition to dyslexia, therapies for ADHD issues could be a great help. These kinds of therapies could reduce some of your child’s anxiety about school and make it easier for her to perform in class. If dyslexia takes a toll on your child’s self-esteem or causes anxiety or stress, psychological counseling could also help her perform better in school.
What educational strategies can help kids with dyslexia?
There are lots of ways to help kids with dyslexia succeed in the classroom and at home. Ask your child’s teachers about accommodations that could work.
It’s important to talk to your child’s teachers about what instructional strategies the school uses. Most kids with dyslexia need to be taught in multisensory ways that connect what they see, hear and feel. (Orton–Gillingham is a common multisensory approach.) For example, some teachers use letter tiles or sandpaper letters to help kids build words and feel the shape of the letters and words. Some programs also focus on teaching different arm movements to make commonly confused letters, such as p, b and d.
What else can help kids with dyslexia?
You can also support your child at home. You might try out audiobooks or dictation software. And take a look at Tech Finder for apps and games that can make reading easier.