A Back-to-School Guide for Kids With Dyslexia

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School’s here!

Key takeaways:

  • Keep the lines of communication open
  • Share your child’s most recent evaluations, tests, and school records
  • Let the school/teachers know about your child’s IEP
  • Invest in dyslexia tools and technologies
  • Praise your child in areas in which he/she excels
  • Don’t be afraid to say the word “dyslexia”

Families across South Florida are preparing to go back to school. We’re all looking forward to a new year of personal and academic growth. School can be challenging for children with dyslexia, though. How can you prepare your child when reading, writing, and math may be more difficult to learn?

The Learning Lab provides seven tips to help your child get ready to succeed in school. Succeeding with dyslexia when you’re taught with the right tools is not only possible, it’s a given. 

1. Keep talking

Your child likely has a lot of questions and fears about going back to school, especially after all of the disruptions and uncertainty due to COVID. Talk to your child and allow him/her to express those anxieties. Let your child know that he/she can succeed and that you are there to help. 

The conversation should also extend to your child’s teachers. They need to be informed about your child’s situation so they can prepare resources to help him or her succeed. Be sure to discuss your child’s IEP with accommodations to ensure he/she has the right support and assistance in the classroom. 

2. Share their most recent evaluations

Prepare all documentation regarding your child’s diagnosis and current evaluations and tests. You want to ensure their school has the most up-to-date records. It might be necessary to reevaluate or retest your child, especially if it’s a new school. 

As your child gets older, you can involve him/her in these discussions more. This can help improve confidence, self-determination, and teach children to be self-advocates.

3. Find stress relievers

Your child probably already feels anxiety about having dyslexia. Since he or she has to expend extra energy to learn, dyslexia can also take a mental and physical toll. Help your child relax by finding activities to reduce stress. Whether your child enjoys sports, dance, play dates, bike riding, or getting involved in church, learn what helps him or her de-stress.

4. Research dyslexia tools 

There are so many technological tools available for children with dyslexia. These tools can help in subjects like reading, writing, and math while enhancing and improving the learning process as a whole. You can ask your child’s doctor, teachers, search the Internet, or ask other parents for their recommendations.

Available technology includes apps, software, smart pens, audiobooks, and text-to-speak/speak-to-text tools. Here are some examples:

  • Learning Ally 
  • Bookshare
  • OverDrive
  • Audible
  • Voice Dream Reader
  • SnapType
  • Claro ScanPen Reader
  • Dyslexia Toolbox
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking
  • Grammarly
  • Scrible
  • SpeakIt
  • Voice Note II
  • Speech-to-Text Google Docs

5. Help your child get organized

Many children with dyslexia also struggle with organizational skills. You can help your child stay on track by creating a workstation at home and keeping the tools and supplies he/she needs on hand. You can also create an IEP binder for the year.

6. Say the word “dyslexia”

In the past, people tended to hide the fact that they had dyslexia. It’s better to be open about it, so your child feels free to discuss it. There’s no need for embarrassment or shame. Dyslexia is a learning challenge but not one that has anything to do with intelligence or laziness. Speaking aloud about dyslexia can help your child overcome doubts and grow more confident.

7. Identify areas where your child excels

While things like reading, writing, and math may be difficult for children with dyslexia, they’re often quite gifted in other areas. Your child might excel in art, music, science, or athletics. Find the subjects or interests that inspire your child’s passion and encourage those pursuits. Doing well in something will help build your child’s confidence and make school more enjoyable. 

Getting help for your child

If your child struggles academically because of dyslexia, it’s important to tackle the problem at the beginning of the year. The Learning Lab offers support for children who need extra help in subjects like reading, writing, and math. Our goal is to prepare your child for a lifetime of learning while helping him/her close academic gaps. 

Learning Lab programs

Homework Lab

Our Homework Lab was created to teach your child executive functioning skills such as time management, planning, and organization while also providing academic support. 

What we do:

  • Reteach challenging material
  • Organization, focus, and executive functioning skills coaching
  • Test prep and study skills
  • Individualized Homework Management 
I3 Lab (Intense, individualized, instruction) 

We offer one-on-one individualized tutoring sessions with certified teachers to remediate and close learning gaps.  

Based on a placement screening, one (or a combination of) our evidence-based curricula will be implemented to help your child in specific areas. 

Reading/writing curriculum:

  • Barton Reading and Spelling System©
  • Fast ForWord®
  • Foundation in Sounds™
  • IEW© (Institute for Excellence in Writing) 
  • Reading Assistant Plus™
  • Seeing Stars®
  • Visualizing and Verbalizing Multi-Sensory Language-Based Programming®
  • Wilson Just Words® (4th grade+)
  • Winston Grammar©

Math curriculum:

  • DreamBox Math©
  • Math Remediation
  • TouchMath©
Academic software

We offer adaptive and intuitive academic software that uses a brain-based approach to help students with dyslexia, CAPD, and ADHD catch up and master reading and writing skills. Our main focus is on helping students build the necessary cognitive skills that impact reading and learning, such as: Focus, Attention, Memory, Processing, and Sequencing.

We help students build…

  • Grammar
  • Phonemic awareness 
  • Phonics 
  • Reading comprehension and fluency
  • Semantics and mechanics
  • Vocabulary

Look to us for back-to-school support

If your child needs extra help starting school, The Learning Lab is here. We offer in-person tutoring and virtual learning tools to help children get ahead. We also aid them in learning new material as the school year gets underway. Whatever your child is struggling with academically, you can find help here in South Florida. 

We recently expanded our Davie location to provide enhanced learning support to families throughout Broward County, including those in Davie, Cooper City, Plantation, and Fort Lauderdale. 

Contact us today for more information.

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