This post was first published June 1, 2015.
What can you do this summer to help your dyslexic child? First and foremost, continue the help your child is receiving, or get them help if they are not. Orton Gillingham (“OG”) tutoring is the best prescription for dyslexia remediation. It is the research-based method that provides multisensory remediation in a structured, sequential, diagnostic manner.
If your child already has an OG tutor, make sure that they continue their tutoring over the summer. Dyslexic children need systematic repetition in order to maintain the skills they learned during the school year. A month or two off can mean great loss of skills learned. For help finding an OG tutor in your area, contact The Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.
Provide a literature-rich environment. Select high-interest books to read to your child. Dyslexic children often have gaps in their vocabulary development, and reading or hearing books read aloud helps them fill in those gaps. Talk with your child about what you are reading, and ask questions to check their comprehension. Discuss unfamiliar words with them and make sure they understand the meaning of these words. Encourage your child’s love of books by providing digital access to audio books. Learning Ally is a wonderful resource for audio books; these books allow children to read along as the book is read aloud.
Other suggestions by Schenck School teachers include keeping a journal, asking a grandparent to be a pen pal, encourage swimming . . . great for left/right coordination and stimulation of sensory receptors, have your child practice spelling words using shaving cream and a hard surface, and play classical music in your car to stimulate brain function.
Finally, have fun and enjoy your child. Give them opportunities to explore and develop their strengths. Plan valuable family time . . . those wonderful family memories are golden and help you through the rough patches when your child faces tough academic times.
Have a wonder-filled summer with your creative child!