Today, we have a guest blog from Oliver at Twinkl. The resources referred to in this blog are free to download.
Having your child identified as dyslexic can be a difficult thing to hear as a parent, but even more so for the child in question. Questions about what dyslexia is, what it means for the future and how to manage it are likely to be playing on his or her mind. The most important thing is that it doesn’t mean future goals and aims have to change. Here are some suggestions about how to explain dyslexia to your child and effectively support them without changing your life aims.
Talk through what Dyslexia is
It’s possible, especially in younger children that they won’t have even heard of dyslexia before, so it is important to explain simply and clearly what it is and what it means for the child. It’s likely an educational practitioner will help to explain this to your child. Even if they have, it might be useful to go through it again at a later date in your own time as your child may feel more comfortable asking questions.
It is important to make your child aware that they can ask questions at all times. You should nurture this and ensure that they feel comfortable asking, whenever the questions might come along. It may be a good idea to give your child all the information they’ll likely need to allow them to read about it and research around it themselves without the pressure of parents. This promotes independence and allows them to form questions in their own time. They can then ask you whenever they’re ready.
To help broach the subject and pass the correct information to your child try using this free PowerPoint from Twinkl which helps children understand dyslexia.
The younger the child, the more they’ll look for role models both in their own lives and through famous faces they might recognise. There are many famous celebrities who demonstrate what can be achieved by people who also have dyslexia. These include Jamie Oliver, Tom Cruise, Keira Knightley and Albert Einstein.
Using these famous names and faces can help your child to realise that their dreams or goals don’t have to change as a result of the dyslexia identification. It might help to use these celebrities as case studies and explore what they’ve been able to achieve in more detail. There are resources to help do this included in the ‘See Dyslexia Differently’ pack on Twinkl.
Dyslexia in the media
To help your child, it is also a really positive step to find TV, films or books that feature dyslexia. Watching or reading about children or people that your child can relate to, will be really helpful and may even be inspirational. It should show that despite the identification, anything is possible, dyslexia doesn’t define him or her.
It is also crucial to establish support systems, where necessary, for your child soon after a dyslexia identification. Talk to your child’s school and ask what they can do to help, also share with them any care plans you have, so they are fully aware of the support that is required. If you or your child would like extra help then there are always charities [such as Dyslexia Scotland] and support groups to turn to – which might be especially useful in the early days after an identification.
If you’d like to read more about dyslexia, the Inclusion team at Twinkl have written multiple blog posts. covering a range of topics, around dyslexia. See below for a selection of these blogs.
Oliver Lincoln, Marketing Coordinator, Twinkl Ltd
If your child has just been identified as dyslexic and you’d like to chat further to one of Dyslexia Scotland’s friendly Helpline Advisors, please call our helpline on 0344 800 84 84 (Mon – Thursday 10:00am – 4:30pm; Fridays 10:00am – 4:00pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have a wide range of helpful leaflets on our website:
Please note, Dyslexia Scotland is unable to endorse any particular dyslexia products.