Effective Writing Activities for Kids with Dyslexia
The first time I was helping my daughter to write an essay, it was a real struggle. I had no patience as all. I am embarrassed to say this, but I was disappointed. I ended up getting help from professional writers from Assignment Geek writing service, just so I could get my daughter to submit that essay on time. It was the wrong thing to do.
So what’s the right thing to do when you’re trying to teach a kid with dyslexia how to write? Staying patient. Writing is not easy for anyone. It’s a skill that requires long-term practice and development. Students with dyslexia have to be even more patient than the others. Their parents as well!
So how exactly can you help a kid with dyslexia to learn how to write? Through fun writing activities! The kid must not feel pressured to accomplish an overwhelming goal. Just make writing fun for them, so they will start enjoying the process. These activities can help with that:
Teach Narration Before You Proceed with Writing Activities
Writing is overwhelming for kids with dyslexia. Period. They know they are not good at it, so they get entirely consumed by the goal of getting the words right. This focus can disturb their creative thinking skills. That’s why you’ll see your kid blocked after a few words if you just tell them “go write that essay!”
So think of a nice topic. If your kid wants to know more about the Universe, for example, trigger their imagination by asking them to tell you a story about a boy or a girl on a distant planet. Narration is the precursor to proper writing. When they master that aspect, it will easier for them to express it in written.
Be the Scribe
Forcing your kid to write a paper when that challenge is impossible for them is one of the greatest mistakes you can make in this process. You have to understand that even if your kid has an idea, they have difficulties to put their words on paper. It’s a challenge and you have to make it a bit easier on them.
I’m not saying you should do this all the time, but you can help them during the beginnings. Let your child dictate the story or the paper, and you’ll write it for them. Then, you’ll help them read it. Since they already know the content, it will be easier for them to follow the flow of the text. With this activity, you can teach both reading and writing at the same time. How’s that for effective parenting?
Set the Challenge
When you’re trying to introduce writing activities into your child’s daily routine, you should present them as a challenge. A fun one; not an overwhelming one! You will set some rules and turn this into a game. For example, writing one paragraph will be one level. When your child gets through one level of the game, you’ll provide a reward in the form of a badge.
The rules of the game have to be very clear and simple. Set the levels in accordance with the stages of the writing process:
- Writing (each paragraph is a new level)
When you break up the overall process in achievable challenges, it won’t be that overwhelming.
Please; don’t try to force your kid to go through all stages of the activity in a single day. If this is an actual essay, it might take them several days to write it. Be supportive!
Use Apps for Kids with Dyslexia
Does your kid love using the tablet or smartphone? Who doesn’t? Fortunately, you can get good use out of these devices if you install the right apps on them. We live in an era of incredible technical advantages, so we better use them, don’t you think?
Here are few suggestions for apps you can try today:
- Dyslexia Quest (great games for developing memory and learning skills)
- Dragon Anywhere (a dictation app that turns narrative into written text)
- Ideament (mind-mapping app that helps during the outlining process)
- StoryVisualizer (an app with great writing templates that your kid can customize)
Use a Good Spellchecker
Hanging over your kid’s head and yelling “No!” whenever they make a mistake won’t do them any good. You must not make them afraid to make mistakes. Remember: every mistake can be fixed; you just need to teach them how to identify it.
This is where a good spellchecker can help. Microsoft Word already has a grammar and spelling check feature, so it should be enough at the start. When your kid is done writing, run a spellcheck and they will see their own mistakes. With a lot of patience, help them fix the content. Teaching editing is just as important as teaching writing!Keep in mind that this process will not be easy. It will take a lot of effort not only from your kid, but from you as well. The only way to make writing a comfortable activity for your child is to encourage them to practice almost every day. The above-listed tips will help yo