To understand how to help a pupil with dyslexia, it’s helpful to know what dyslexia is, and what it means for the person living with it. It’s important to remember that a dyslexic pupil’s struggles are not related to a lack of intelligence or willfulness.
Dyslexia is a neurological learning difficulty (or learning difference) that is commonly known for how it affects reading and writing skills. However, if a child is surviving high school with Dyslexia, it's because the dyslexic people have difficulty in processing and remembering information they see and hear, which then goes on to affect learning and the acquisition of literacy skills. Dyslexia exists on a spectrum, and dyslexic people’s symptoms range from mild to severe.
How do I identify a pupil with dyslexia?
One in ten pupils has some form of dyslexia, spanning every ability level and every culture, so you will undoubtedly encounter dyslexia at some point in your career as a teacher.
Although some children are diagnosed with dyslexia before they start school, the symptoms usually become more obvious once school starts and the focus on learning to read and write begins.
Some symptoms of dyslexia in school-age pupils are:
Unpredictable and inconsistent poor spelling
Putting letters and figures the wrong way round
Reading slowly or making errors when reading aloud
Visual disturbances when reading such as letters and words moving around or appearing blurred
Answering questions well verbally, but having difficulty when writing the answers down
Struggling to learn sequences, such as the days of the week or the order of the alphabet