1 in 10 Australian children have dyslexia. Is your child one of them?

Most kids with dyslexia don’t realise it – they think everyone else sees what they see.

Most parents have no idea when their child has dyslexia. They mistakenly believe their child is lazy or avoiding school work because they prefer the outdoors.

Dyslexia is fairly straightforward to help, once you recognise it.

In this video… You can actually experience dyslexia for yourself.

Are you ready for this?

So how can you check your child for dyslexia?

The most important question to ask your child: “What are the words doing on the page?”

Ask your child to stare at a white page text for 10 seconds and then ask “what are the words doing on the page?” Don’t put words in your child’s mouth by suggesting what the words might be doing. Just ask them what the words are doing.

If your child tells you the words are moving, blurring out, shaking, look 3 dimensional or disappearing on the page, it’s likely your child has dyslexia.

This is not a comprehensive test, but most children with dyslexia can be picked up just by asking what the words are doing on the page.



5 straightforward tips that help kids with dyslexia

Don’t panic! Dyslexia is much easier to help than most parents realise.

Some easy ways to help with dyslexia are:

1. Ensure that text is large, bold and double spaced.

It will make the text easier for kids to read if the words are moving or fading away.

2. Change the colour of the page.

See if the words stay still on coloured paper. The most common colours that help children with dyslexia are pale blue, pale purple or light grey. If they don’t help, then check other colours.

3. Avoid fluorescent lighting like the plague!

Kids with dyslexia succeed more under natural lighting or yellow lighting than fluorescent lights.

4. Dim your child’s computer screen slightly.

The brighter the background is, the more difficult your child will find it to read text.

5. Chat with your child’s teacher at school.

Make them aware that the words are moving when your child is trying to read.

The key difference between kids who succeed or fail with dyslexia:

The main difference between kids succeeding or failing with dyslexia is how determined their parents are to find ways to help.

When parents give up and assume it’s all too hard to help, their child will suffer.

When parents persevere and try many different avenues to find ways to make learning easier for their child, their kids will succeed in the end.

Where to get help for dyslexia

Okay, so you suspect your child has dyslexia. What now?

The next thing to find out is how much the dyslexia is actually impacting your child’s learning.

Here are some great places to start learning:

Teacher/school: Most schools have at least one teacher who knows a lot about dyslexia and how to help. Track down that teacher.

Optometrist: An optometrist is unlikely to help your child with dyslexia but they can check whether your child is short-sighted or not. Having dyslexia is challenging, but having dyslexia and being short-sighted can be disastrous so definitely get your child’s eyes tested.

Doctor/specialists: Chat with your child’s doctor and find someone who won’t just diagnose dyslexia, but will provide you with straightforward solutions and new skills.

Search the web: So many parents find the help they need on the Internet. The Dyslexia Improvements website is one website that gives free, straightforward video training for parents.

Other mums (of course!): There is a big community of other concerned mums who would love to share their knowledge and ideas with you. You’ll find them on the net, or somewhere in your town.

Do you have a child with dyslexia, how have you helped them cope? Can you share your tips with other mums?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • My son has dyslexia. His is eight, I suspected dyslexia since pre-primary, and have researched it extensively on the long road to finally getting an official diagnosis at the age of 7. I have to point out that this video seems to me a bit ‘hocus pocus’ on what dyslexia really is. The root cause of dyslexia is more language based/auditory/phonological than visual. So I don’t see how twisting up text on a page using computer wizardry really simulates dyslexia. The primary problem my son has is mostly ‘phonological’ -that is- stringing the sounds of the letters together to make the word. He also has difficulty sequencing information, and remembering abstract information, especially in order. These was the most obvious signs-in preprimary despite seeming to be one of the brightest kids in the class he failed to learn phonics, while almost every other kid had mastered it by year one. When asked to cut out and paste pictures in order to represent the story goldilocks and the three bears, everything was out of order, despite him understanding the story in incredible detail. Only a small part of it is visual- he has been assessed by an OT, and found to have some trouble distinguising similar shapes i.e. a square vs a rectangle. He also mis-spaces letters when writing, and always confuses b with d (even now at 8) as well as having alot of trouble forming letters correctly. Though when reading he has trouble, mainly due to having trouble rapidly remembering which letter makes what sound, and then stringing the sounds together fluently NOT anything visual. The thing that has helped the most is intensive tutoring, learning phonics in a systematic, multisensory way, targeted at his ability, rather than what other kids in the class are learning. Now he as at the end of Year 3, and finally reading!! OT has helped with him with multitasking/sequencing and fine motor skills and his handwriting is steadily improving. He has trouble with language based maths problems, and learning timestables due to problems with language, abstract thinking and working memory, but with specific and focused help with his teacher his maths is steadily improving. With use of a calculator and pen and paper to write down multi-sequence steps, he is now showing some strengths in maths. I would be very wary of this video- dyslexia is not primarily a visual problem- focus on learning phonics, with specialised tutoring. If you are concerned with visual problems, it doesn’t hurt to have an assessment with OT, but if your child is dyslexic, visual issues will NOT be the primary source of your childs problems though the can co-occur with dyslexia. Also please do your research before jumping to quick fix solutions. There is no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to dyslexia- it is something your child will live with for the rest of their life, but with the right support from a good tutor, you, and their teachers, they will succeed and learn. And don’t forget usually dyslexic children will have many strengths, such as great people skills and empathy, which you should focus on as a positive.

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  • Some great tips here thankfully we have no sign in any of our kids but was able to forward to a friend that is going though this

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  • David, thanks for your article. A very informative and interesting read. I had heard a number of these tips before but they are a really good reminder of things to watch for, and to talk to friends and family about.

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  • Some children write letters of the alphabet or numbers back front.
    Some will avoid reading books without pictures even when they should be well past that stage. It will effect their spelling ability too.
    e.g. they may write d as a b 6 as a 9

    If you child has very good reading ability and is good at spelling but tells you she is seeing double or something similar it may be an eye problem. e.g. my left eye turns outwards It only became noticeable when I was part way through high school. I gave up playing tennis. The ball simply wasn’t where I thought it was when I tried to hit it back. In fact that was how I realised there was somthing wrong with my eyes. I was referred to an orthoptist who taught me eye exercises. I still have the cards I was given. Mine is worse when I am tired. Other people notice it turning outwards. A relative’s child has the same problem -same eye too. She wears glasses for it.

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  • No, no problems with my kids and dyslexia. Handshake of congratulations to those who do

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  • I think my son is too young to tell yet. But now I know what signs to look out for!

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  • looking absouletly awesome

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  • oh yeah you would have to chat to the school about how to help your child’s education

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  • Very interesting read – never knew most of this info – good to have on hand

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  • Thank you, I’m sure this was helpful for many parents.

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  • Very interesting article. I had no idea about this.

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  • Thanks Michael for the Helpful Info

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  • I always thought that dyslexia was reading the letters backwards, I had no idea it was so complex. Fantastic article.

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  • good to read

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  • Fantastic article and video. I had no idea that dyslexia was so complex! I honestly thought it was letters appearing back to front. .I did nursing for 19 years but our learning did not involve anything about dyslexia so I guess I can be forgiven!. Keep up the great work Michael and Suzanne

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