Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling.
It's a specific learning difficulty, which means it causes problems with certain abilities used for learning, such as reading and writing.
Unlike a learning disability, intelligence isn't affected.
It's estimated up to 1 in every 10 people in the UK has some degree of dyslexia.
Dyslexia is a lifelong problem that can present challenges on a daily basis, but support is available to improve reading and writing skills and help those with the problem be successful at school.
Signs of dyslexia usually become apparent when a child starts school and begins to focus more on learning how to read and write.
A person with dyslexia may:
But people with dyslexia often have good skills in other areas, such as creative thinking and problem solving.
Read more about the symptoms of dyslexia.
If you think your child may have dyslexia, the first step is to speak to their teacher. They may be able to offer additional support to help your child if necessary.
If your child continues to have problems despite extra support, you may want to consider requesting a more in-depth assessment from a specialist dyslexia teacher or an educational psychologist.
As a school, we are unable to offer dyslexia assessments. We can undertake a GL Dyslexia Screening Assessment which will indicate if a child is showing any dyslexic traits but we are unable to provide a diagnosis.
You can request a private assessment by contacting:
A number of educational interventions and programmes are available for children with dyslexia in HBJ.
These can range from occasional teaching in small groups with a teaching assistant, to 1-to-1 lessons on a set intervention such as Fisher Family Trust (FFT). We also offer intervention for specific areas of weakness such as Nessy for spelling.
Most interventions focus on phonological skills, which is the ability to identify and process word sounds. These interventions are often referred to as phonics.
Phonics interventions can involve teaching a child to:
These interventions should ideally be delivered in a highly structured way with development in small steps, and should involve regularly practising what's been learnt.
It can also help if your child is taught in a multisensory way, where they use several senses at the same time.
An example of multisensory teaching is where a child is taught to see the letter "a", say its name and sound and write it in the air, all at the same time.
As a parent, you might be unsure about the best way to help your child.
This will improve their vocabulary and listening skills, and will also encourage their interest in books.
Both read some of the book and then discuss what's happening, or what might happen.
You may get bored of reading your child's favourite book over and over, but repetition will reinforce their understanding and means they'll become familiar with the text.
Children also need the chance to read alone to encourage their independence and fluency.
Reading should be a pleasure, not a chore. Use books about subjects your child is interested in, and make sure that reading takes place in a relaxed and comfortable environment.
Parents also play a significant role in improving their child's confidence, so it's important to encourage and support your child as they learn.