5 Tips for Getting Your Child with Dyslexia Excited About Reading
Transform reading into an activity your child actually enjoys.
Parents of children with reading-related learning disabilities know that getting your child to pick up a book can sometimes feel like pulling teeth. But all hope is not lost–with a few simple tricks and the right choice words of encouragement you’ll be able to crack the code in no time, and you might even find that your child with dyslexia is deep down a full-fledged bookworm.
Let Them Choose the Book
Is your kid into dinosaurs, or fashion design, or World War II history? Regardless of learning disability, any child will be more motivated to read if they find the subject matter engaging. If you can tap into one or two interests that get them excited and energized, they might even become eager to crack open a book.
When allowing them to pick out their reading material, be sure to keep an open mind. Don’t limit them to great American novels, or try to challenge them to tackle something above their level. Instead, be open to non-fiction, graphic novels, or even magazines or poetry. Any genre or form of written text, as long as it is age-appropriate in subject matter, is helpful in fostering a healthy reading habit.
Encourage Them to Go at Their Own Pace
Reading slowly still counts as reading! Even if your child has to go over the same page again and again to comprehend what they’re reading, it is still highly beneficial to their education and language skills in the long run. Avoid comparing them to other children their age, and instead focus on setting attainable goals that will increase their confidence once reached. Though it may take a long time before they are able to read quickly, they will never get there if they aren’t encouraged to push through their reading challenges by slowly and steadily working through books.
Praise Them Often
There is no better way to form a positive association than to praise your child repeatedly for reading. Praise them for trying when they are struggling with a certain book or even passage of a book or essay, and praise them even more effusively if you catch them reading on their own, unprompted. This will create an automatic connection between reading and positive emotions, which will subconsciously encourage them to want to read, and want to get better at it.
Read to Them
There is no such thing as being too old to be read to. No matter your child’s age, if they struggle with reading, they can benefit from hearing you read to them. Or, you can alternate reading to them with having them read a passage out loud to you, which makes the process more active and holds them accountable. You can also try reading out loud to them, and having them reread the passage afterward. When fostering a love of reading in children with dyslexia, every little thing helps. Making reading a bonding experience between you and your child is a great way to connect with them, again building positive associations with reading.
Create Solid Habits Early On
While it’s never easy to lay down strict rules, it is imperative to create healthy reading habits early on, before a child gets too far behind in school. There are plenty of ways to do this without being too imposing. After all, no level of strictness will ultimately foster a love of reading, which is the true end goal here. One option used successfully to create good reading habits is to intersperse fun books with mandatory reading that is perhaps assigned in school. Letting your child pick which book they read before or after a mandatory book that might not pique their interest is a great rewards system that still has them engaged with the written word.
Reading Can Be Fun, No Really!
It might seem implausible that your child will ever willingly crack open a book for their own amusement, but with a lot of persistence and a little creativity, you might find that they develop a passion for books. Whether or not they end up reading the genres you’ve picked out for them, with repeated practice their reading skills should improve across the board.
Posted By Marker Learning Team Jan 27, 2023
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