Dyslexia can indeed present learning challenges that may make it harder for dyslexic students to master reading and language skills, but many dyslexic students also have certain strengths that help them thrive in this unprecedented environment of distance learning. Teachers and parents who recognize these assets can encourage dyslexic students to translate these skills back into the classroom in the future. Read below to learn more about some of the unique strengths dyslexic students can bring to distance learning.
There is a reason so many dyslexic individuals have found success in occupations that require out-of-the-box thinking, like entrepreneurs, inventors, and creators. While people with dyslexia may have trouble mastering reading and writing skills, there is often an overflowing amount of creativity that helps them develop innovative ideas. In this unfamiliar time where a reliable school structure is missing, it might be beneficial to give dyslexic students the freedom to unleash their creative thinking. Does your dyslexic child want to do their environmental science homework outside in the grass? Go for it. Does your student want to try reading upside down and following along to an audiobook? Why not? Parents and teachers may never know what activity can help connect the dots in a student’s mind. Dyslexic students may know exactly what they need to do to learn their best. Now is the time to try something new!
What better time to let a child’s imagination run wild than when all of us are asked to stay at home? The world outside of our homes can be scary right now, and many dyslexic children have extraordinary imaginations that they may not get to use during a regular school day. Letting students engage in creative writing, art, dance, or another activity that stretches their imagination can help children–and their parents–escape the real world for a little while and have some fun. Additionally, teachers may be able to incorporate new and engaging activities that let dyslexic students harness more of their imagination.
Excitement and Energy
Many dyslexic children also have an incredible amount of excitement and energy that can make a typical classroom environment feel constrictive if they are told to sit still and be quiet. In a strict school setting, dyslexic students and students with undiagnosed dyslexia may be seen as misbehaving when they often just have pent-up energy or become frustrated with their work. At home, however, children have more freedom to run and can exert their enthusiasm in a more productive way. Parents can encourage their dyslexic children to harness their energy to learn new things in school and around the house.
Time to Process
For many dyslexic students, ample time to process what they are learning is missing during an average school day where everyone must stick to a precise schedule. While reading and language skills are naturally challenging for dyslexic children, many students can be successful if they are simply given sufficient time to process what they are learning. It is helpful to have a reliable routine that children can get used to during this time at home, but encouraging dyslexic students to take their time processing during the school day can promote confidence and help students learn more effectively. This flexibility that is so uncommon in a regular school day can encourage dyslexic students to be active participants in their learning and determine the time they need to process and understand a subject.
Whether you are a teacher, student, or parent, distance learning is a challenge. From learning new daily routines to trying to understand essential new technology, there is a steep learning curve for everyone adjusting to the new normal established by the global coronavirus pandemic. Although things are changing, there are silver linings to be seen at every turn, so focus on the positives! Just as dyslexic students have strengths that can help them succeed in a challenging environment like distance learning, everyone has unique abilities that can help positives emerge from this difficult situation.
At The Dyslexia Resource, we know how difficult these times can be for members of the dyslexic community and those around them. We are here to help educators and parents find the resources that can help dyslexic children learn and feel their best during this unusual time. Although our in-person community events have moved to a virtual format for now, we continue to provide training and support to parents and educators of children with dyslexia. Learn more about The Dyslexia Resource today!