Strategies / Aids for Coping with Dyslexia
Generally - what is suitable for work with adults with dyslexia will benefit other adult literacy learners.
Dyslexia cannot be cured: things can be made better - in a number of areas coping strategies may be more useful than literacy teaching. The learner / tutor need to decide what is more relevant/of immediate use.
Coping strategies can be many and varied - alternative approaches to problems can bring enthusiasm, possibilities and excitement back to learning. Coping strategy options are a major point in literacy work with adults with dyslexia for a number of reasons:
- Neurological developments which are possible in work with children may no longer possible with adults.
- Long term structured work on sensory development then may be futile and lead to disappointment and frustration.
- Adults have more immediate needs often related to practical problems that need short-term solutions.
- Short-term achievement and confidence building may be more important than limited developments over long periods of time.
Coping strategies / aids which may be of more use than standard tutoring are outlined below.
Handouts and Materials (including publicity)
- Copied on coloured paper (buff works well)
- In lowercase - block capitals are difficult to read
- In 'plain English'
- Use of plain, clear fonts
- Use of graphs, pictures or charts to break up reading material
- Use of white space for handouts, worksheets or publicity materials
- Use of colour coding as well as referencing
- Tutors' notes to learners offered in printing style not 'real writing'
- Information available in a variety of ways: reading, audio, visual
- Hand held magnifiers for reading/writing
- Highlighter pens for reading small areas of text
- Card/ruler to keep to the line while reading
- Intuitive (coloured) overlays
- Coloured rulers
- Coloured screens used on computers
- Computer default settings to plain type
- Set computer icons to larger size
- Use of computer magnifying tool
- Spellcheckers and Autocorrect (on computers)
- Screen reading software
- Voice recognition software
- Word prediction software
- Audio tapes/cds
- Special keyboards or mouse for fine motor skills
- Change settings of computer mouse for left handed users.