Our Approach to Tutoring Children with Dyslexia

December 30, 2021
Posted in Parenting
December 30, 2021 Team Alchemy

Our Approach to Tutoring Children with Dyslexia

Teaching children with dyslexia in a regular class is often a tough task for both teachers and students. Although it might be frustrating, the amount of satisfaction that tutors get when they finally see a dyslexic student start to make progress and grow in their academics is immeasurable.

Over the years, after handling various students with dyslexia, growing to understand their needs and how best to approach their academics, we resolved to start dyslexic tutoring to provide these amazing students with the support they needed to develop academically and socially. We have heard immense success with our unique approach to dyslexic tutoring.

Find the Right Tutors

The first, perhaps the most valuable step in tutoring dyslexic students is finding the right tutor. It’s not always easy because the requirements for dyslexic tutors are often highly demanding.

The tutors we choose to work with dyslexic students have to be patient, kind and creative. Stimulating different senses of the student requires a creative mind that is regularly coming up with new ways to keep the students engaged.

The Tutors also have to be conversant with the most common reading languages for dyslexic students. These include Multi-sensory Structured Language Education and Orton-Gillingham approach, which is also used for dyslexic tutoring and teaching.

Most of our tutors have mastered several programs. We understand that different schools prefer different programs. To avoid confusion, the tutor will match the program and the material to what the student is accustomed to yielding positive results that extend to schoolwork.

Understand the Student

Before we can jump in and start tutoring, we value taking time to understand the student to find the most practical and effective ways of helping them.

Although dyslexic students have the same difficulties, which often include confusing letters p, b, and d, we also know from experience that the child might have other learning difficulties. Taking time to understand their needs allows the tutor to come up with a comprehensive dyslexic tutoring program that covers all these challenges and gives the student the best chance at success.

Creating a comprehensive approach

When it comes to tutoring dyslexic students, you can settle for just one method of teaching. You have to involve the student as much as possible. Our tutors use the Orton Gillingham approach and implement all the teaching methods known to be effective with dyslexic students.

These include:

  • Multi-sensory – Because dyslexia affects the way the brain processes visual information, engaging other senses like sound and touch helps the students to create references that work around this deficit.
  • Direct – Being simple and direct with dyslexic students when explaining what they need to learn, how it will be taught, and why it is important is vital to their development.
  • Sequential and systematic – One of the reasons why you need to understand the student you will be tutoring is because it allows you to know what they have mastered and what they are struggling with. Tutoring dyslexic students requires patience and positive reinforcement, having a systematic approach that allows the students to build on what they learn until they master it.
  • Emotionally sound – Successfully tutoring a dyslexic child requires focusing on their positive attributes and on their success in learning prior skills. It requires creating a learning environment that nurtures a positive mental attitude and builds self-esteem. These allow the student to make mistakes and learn from them.

Understanding the Do’s and Don’ts

Dyslexic students have unique demands and require a different approach to tutoring. Every competent dyslexic tutor should know the dos and don’ts of working with a student with dyslexia. Some that seem normal and foster learning in other students might not work with dyslexic students. Some of the things you shouldn’t do with a child who has dyslexia include:

  • Don’t ask them to read aloud. They might not be good at it just yet, which can lead to embarrassment and a sense of failure.
  • Don’t ask the student to copy things from a board or text
  • Don’t expect them to complete the assignment quickly. Allow them more time.

Knowing and understanding how important it is to avoid these don’ts is critical in ensuring you don’t take away the gains the student has made and the effort they have put in to be where they are. Instead, you should highlight their successes and positively reinforce areas they need to work on.

Some additional tips we use in our approach in tutoring dyslexic students include:

  • Create a conducive learning environment without distractions to allow the student to focus on the tasks at hand.
  • Incorporate technology into the lessons like text-to-speech screen readers and use of audiobooks and headphones during the sessions.
  • Involving parents so they know how they can participate in helping with their child’s academic success.
  • Keeping parents updated on their child’s progress and ensuring they learn how to follow up on what their child is practicing and possible non-academic skills they can teach the child to make them more successful in life.

Conclusion

Dyslexic tutoring takes more than an expert tutor who has the experience and a track record of success. Dyslexic tutors are cut from a different cloth. They know how to nurture, remain patient, and build a bond that breeds love and trust between them and the child. Using these traits and qualities and our unique approach to tutoring, we have achieved exceptional results over the years with dyslexic students.