Dyslexia is a condition which mainly appears during young age, in the first stages of education. It manifests through a child's inability to differentiate sounds from one another and connected them with written signs in order to form words, phrases and sentences. Therefore, dyslexic people tend to have difficulties related to reading, writing and spelling, even though their intelligence levels are normal and above normal.
Additionally, dyslexic children can have problems with performing mathematical operations, especially when they need to deal with the multiplication tables, decimals, fractions, percentages, statistics and ratio. It is important to diagnose dyslexia as early as possible since, in this case, treatment and recovery can be possible.
Educational Games for Children with Dyslexia
Since the regular classroom may not be motivational enough for dyslexic children, the teachers are advised to introduce some interesting, educational games for them. First of all, once a child gets diagnosed with dyslexia, he/she might lack motivation for work or may have problems with his/her self-esteem. Therefore, the teacher can start the educational game process with comparing the dyslexic child with some of the renowned scientists who had the same problems. For example, Albert Einstein is one of the most famous dyslexic geniuses and his teachers scorned him often because of his frequent writing errors. However, he managed to overcome these problems through hard work and dedication to education.
As for the problems related to calculation, numbers and such, there are several interesting and exciting games which can prove to be of great assistance both to the teachers and the dyslexic children. Yet, remember that taking small, gradual steps is an advised technique. Thus, do not move on with more complicated segments until the child has fully mastered the existing learning units. Additionally, make sure that all the materials that the dyslexic child deals with match his/her capabilities and learning levels.
If you are teaching the child to count to 100, for example, you are advised to allow the individual to fully master counting in forwards before teaching him/her how to perform the same operation backwards. Breaks and pauses are recommended whenever the child loses interest or feels overwhelmed by the educational materials you are using.
An excellent learning tactic for mastering the numbers from 1 to 100 is the one where you can use toys like marbles. Place 100 of them on the floor, forming a long line and ask the child to place a marker on each 10th marble he/she counts. You can even use different colors for each 10 marbles he/she encounters, making it more logical and easier for the child to understand the task. Once the child masters this technique, you can ask him/her to do the same, placing markers on every fifth marble. This way, he/she will learn how to count five by five.
Alternatively, in order not to make the marble game boring, you can interchange it with a different game, like the one where you can call out a number and ask the child to say the next one. Taking into consideration that the most complicated numbers for dyslexic children to learn are the final ones between the two tens, you can focus on calling out many numbers ending with 9.
Multiplication and division can be made fun and games through playing with items which come in pairs. Once the child understands the concept of x2, you can move on to exposing him/her to items which come in three equal units. Later on, when your little student has mastered the basics of multiplication, you can move the whole material on the board, using the standardized symbols for this mathematical operation. Naturally, the same can be done with division.
Finally, playing bingo, using calculators or having some other useful devices at his/her disposal are all tools which can help the dyslexic child overcome the confusion he/she might have, related to numbers and the operations they need to undergo.
Further Education for Dyslexia
Since dyslexia, in some cases, may remain present with a child even when he/she reaches high school age, teachers and tutors need to bear several rules of the thumb in mind. First of all, make sure that you speak clearly and that you can be understood easily by all the students in your class. Provide an overview of the topic you are going to talk about, providing children with some basic ideas which will help them learn better. Ask motivational questions and prepare useful handouts to make the transition from introduction to the body of the class easier and more productive.
If you are using projectors, keep the content limited and clear. Yet, rest assured that dyslexic children will not answer your questions on their own or manage to function in a group. Thus, in order to help them overcome this issue, expose them to as many learning methods you can; use laptops, music, pictures, diagrams etc.
Revise often and focus on receiving feedback from the dyslexic child. If he/she has understood most of the things you were teaching, the lesson was well planned and successful. Furthermore, motivate the children to work at home by introducing email homeworks, typing or some articles which they can find through individual research. Ultimately, do not focus on the spelling or the handwriting of the dyslexic individual. Rather, concentrate on the acquired knowledge and the theoretical and practical feedback he/she provides.
All in all, in order to help dyslexic children, you need to be a creative, imaginative and playful teacher, creating lessons which will motivate these children to progress and overcome their learning problems.