Dyslexia is a brain-based learning disability that specifically impairs a person’s ability to read. For individuals with dyslexia, specific portions of the brain typically associated with important reading processes may not function in the same ways that they do in individuals without dyslexia. Individuals with dyslexia often have difficulty with phonological processing, spelling, or rapid visual-verbal responding. Importantly, dyslexia is related to reading difficulties, not difficulties that arise from intellectual functioning.
Families and educators can work together to ensure children have successful literacy experiences in and out of school. This is especially important if children have reading difficulties. Families and educators play important roles in a comprehensive approach to literacy development through four key actions: Learn, Advocate, Partner, and Support.
Learning to read is difficult and does not happen naturally. It requires explicit and systematic instruction, which is especially important for struggling readers. Learning to read involves many different skills that must be taught to your child. Instruction in phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension will help your child learn to read.
Learning to read consists of developing skills in two areas: accurate, fluent reading and comprehending the meaning of texts. Learning these skills does not come naturally. Both accurate word reading and text comprehension require careful, systematic instruction.
Taking part in literacy experiences at home can develop your child’s reading ability, comprehension, and language skills. Activities that you can engage in at home include: joint reading, drawing, singing, storytelling, reciting, game playing, and rhyming. You can tailor activities to your child’s age and ability level, and can incorporate technology into your learning opportunities.