What is it like to have dyslexia?
As an educator, it is important to have empathy for the students who struggle. One in five people have dyslexia, a reading disorder in which the text on the page can have the appearance of dancing around which makes fluent reading incredibly challenging. For those who read with ease, it is difficult to imagine what this struggle is really like. Victor Widell thought it would be beneficial to create a simulation that would show just how difficult it is to read with dyslexia. You can check it out here: dyslexia
You might look at this and wonder how people with dyslexia can possibly read and write. Fortunately, audiobooks and word prediction software have made the process of reading and writing more enjoyable for those who struggle with dyslexia. However, it is so important to show empathy towards the students who face these challenges. It is easy for them to develop a distain for reading when teachers have told them to "focus more" or "try harder". As you can imagine from the simulation above, being told to focus or try harder is frustrating and deflating. So how do we help these students? We need to continue to encourage a love of reading through audiobooks, read alouds, and multisensory strategies for developing reading and writing skills.
If your child has dyslexia, it is helpful to work with a reading specialist who has experience with multisensory teaching strategies such as Wilson Reading or Orton Gillingham. The more we understand about the challenges our children face, the more we understand the importance of having them receive the personalized instruction that will help them be successful, happy students! Check out some of the multisensory programs that have been developed to help students with dyslexia and other reading and writing difficulties.