When looking to help children with learning disabilities, remember to find ways to help them help themselves. The job of a parent is not to cure the learning disability, but to provide kids with the social and emotional tools they need to work through and manage their particular challenges. This article will explore tips for helping kids with learning disabilities learn to read.
Identify Your Child’s Strengths & Weaknesses
Everyone, including children with reading disabilities, has their preferred ways of learning. Identifying your child’s strengths and weaknesses is a great first step.
Some children with learning disabilities need help decoding written words, while others find reading words easy but struggle to understand the meaning of what they read.
Try asking your child’s teacher where they need help. If it’s decoding, incorporating letter-sound activities into your child’s day can be helpful.
If the content and meaning is the problem, help your child identify and recognize storylines. Watching short films or even reading comic books might help him to understand concepts of plot, characters, and sequence.
Reading with your child is always a great way to help with their progress.
Have your child read some of the book by themselves, then take turns reading aloud and listening to each other.
If your child stumbles on a word, say it for them, rather than insist that they struggle to decode it. If they want to sound out the word, encourage them to do so.
Every so often, try asking questions like “who is this story mainly about?” or “what happened first?” to help your child put all the pieces together when reading.
Word Games & Building Vocabulary
There are a number of other fun ways to help with your child’s learning disability. Remember that taking the lead to instigate these activities will always be helpful.
Try dedicating time to mastering a specific phoneme or word sound. For instance, find 10 things in your house that contain the “buh” sound like boots, backpack, buttons, or butter.
Talk with your child about anything that interests them, using a more mature vocabulary. Read to them for pleasure, from books that are beyond their capability but within their interest.
The richer the verbal environment, the less likely they will be stumped by unfamiliar words in required reading.
Read Between The Lines
Everyone learns a little bit differently. If your child has a learning disability, there are plenty of great ways to help them make progress in their reading journey. For cheap kids books, including recently published titles, be sure to visit Kidsbooks.com.