Dyslexic pupils need to benefit from early intervention to prevent falling further behind their peers. Where specialist support is offered at a late age, learning is less effective and self-esteem and emotional well-being may be considerably undermined.
Dyslexic pupils will need individual support which is differentiated from that offered to low achieving pupils, addressing the very different learning style of the dyslexic brain, if pupils are to make significant progress. Ideally this should be offered by staff with training in supporting dyslexic children. In some cases, one-to-one tuition from a specialist dyslexia teacher may be necessary.
Coloured Overlays and Glasses
Only a minority of children with dyslexia experience visual stress. A selection of coloured overlays could be offered to see if this helps to improve symptoms. If a particular colour seems to be helpful initially, this could be tried out for a month. If it remains effective after this time, it may be advisable to seek a professional eye assessment. This would help to determine the exact shade of overlay that is most appropriate, or the option of coloured glasses.
The right colour can sometimes make a dramatic improvement in reading efficiency, making the text more stable and clearer and alleviating eye strain and headache [but of course it will not teach a child to read].
Coloured Paper and Dyslexia Friendly Text
Many people with dyslexia find the glare of white paper and white backgrounds interferes with their ability to see text clearly [known as ‘scotopic sensitivity’]. Some report that red text on a whiteboard is not visible at all. The background of interactive whiteboards could be selected to cream or a pastel shade. Reducing glare will help all pupils, not just those with dyslexia.
Offering coloured paper can make a real difference to some dyslexic children. Individual pupils may have a preference for a particular colour of paper.
Dyslexia/Literacy Teaching Programmes:
- Nessy: A fun programme for primary schools
- Rapid Reading for struggling pupils at KS2
- AcceleRead/AcceleWrite: WAVE 3 text-to-speech software
- Lexia A popular and fun product including Early Reading, Foundation Reading, and Strategies for Older Students
- Lexion is even more fine-grained and highly regarded by speech and language specialists and specialist dyslexia teachers
- Wordshark [based on Alpha to Omega] uses spelling and reading games
Other Multi-Sensory Learning Resources:
- Synthetic Phonics methods are recommended for all beginning readers by the 2006 Rose Review.
Synthetic Phonics methods are derived from the Hickey Multisensory Language Course for dyslexic learners. The principle is to teach one phoneme [sound of one or more letters] and its written form [grapheme] at a time, and read and write words that can be made from the letters learned so far. High frequency tricky, irregular, words are introduced gradually.
Games and Aids:
There are number of games and various aids which can support dyslexic learning, for example:
Pupils struggling with handwriting benefit from learning to touch-type and using a computer for written work. Popular touch typing tutors include:
Assistive Software Aids
Text to speech:
Speech to Text:
- Dragon Naturally Speaking [secondary]
The Dyslexia SpLD Trust website has a list of literacy schemes and training resources for schools/teachers.
General Resources and Games: