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Learning to Support and Understand Your Dyslexic Child

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Ever wondered if the coloured overlays used with specific learning difficulties can help your dyslexic child?  Do you need to know how your dyslexic child can be taught the essentials for them to cope with expectations faced at school?  Do you want to know more about the computerised screenings organised by the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS)?

Together with DAS, we help to answer these questions to help, not only your child cope with his or her specific learning difficult but also guide you (the parent/guardian) in helping, supporting and understanding dyslexia.

Myth or Fact; Coloured overlays, page background and print sizes help the dyslexic learner.

Children with dyslexia may face visual perceptual difficulties, which are known collectively as the Scoptic Sensitivity syndrome.  The usage of coloured overlays or page background can help them read better as it eliminates the glaring effects of black text on white paper.  However, not all dyslexics experience such visual stress therefore, these coloured overlays may not be required.  Rather, some dyslexics may need a reading ruler to help keep track of and focus on what they are reading.

For children with learning challenges, a larger font size and san serif fonts (such as Arial, Comic Sans, Century Gothic, Verdana and Trebuchet) can help to alleviate visual-spatial difficulties.  There are also free fonts, such as Open Dyslexia and Dyslexie, designed with typefaces suitable for dyslexic readers.

Myth or Fact; Dyslexia is accompanied by other special educational needs.

Individuals with dyslexia MAY experience other special needs such as; dyspraxia, attentional deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or speech and language impairment and autism.  As not all children with dyslexia are alike, it is advisable for parents to seek the best method for helping their child with attentional, behavioural and emotional needs.  (fully qualified and trained staff at DAS can help with these issues faced.)

How do I know if my child has a high risk of dyslexia?

If you, or your child’s school teacher, suspects your child is having a specific learning difficulty, then the first step could be the computerised screenings conducted by DAS.  Each assessment takes about 15 minutes and results are available almost immediately with a summary of the child’s strengths and weaknesses in each subtest.  Performance in each subtest of this screening assessment will automatically be interpreted to indicate the level of risk for dyslexia.  Children whose results indicate a high-level risk of dyslexia are advised to seek a formal psychological assessment for diagnosis of dyslexia.

A research conduced by a team of DAS’ psychologists in 2011 revealed that children found to be at risk of dyslexia through the computerised screening test were likely to be diagnosed with dyslexia, with a positive predictive value of 81.1%.

DAS regularly organises computerised screening assessment session at various mainstream schools and public venues, together with awareness talks, to raise public awareness and understanding dyslexia.  For more information on DAS organised computer screenings or DAS Open House dates, please click HERE.

Thank you to PRISCILLIA SHEN, Director, Undergraduate Programmes DAS Academy who contributed this article to BubbaMama.com

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Priscillia Shen has a Bachelor of Arts (Merit) in Psychology from the National University of Singapore, and a Master of Arts (Distinction) in Specific Learning Differences from London Metropolitan University. She was trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach and has worked as an Educational Therapist at DAS. She is also a qualified trainer with the Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment (ACTA) by the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ).  Her journal article can be found here: Priscillia Shen journal article

  • UNITE SPLD is a conference organised by DAS and is open for anyone interested to learn more about this special learning difficulty.  Please click HERE to see how you can sign up to attend.

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