School IEP/504 meetings are coming up!
Here are the Top 3 accommodations which we have found to help our students with dyslexia:
1. Access to AudioBooks (especially important if your child is beginning an Orton-Gillingham program– eventually your child may be able to read all text on his/her own but it takes time to get to that point!) The best we have found is Bookshare paired with the Voicedream app (on an Ipad). Learning Ally is also an option and sometimes the school will pay for your child’s membership.
2. Additional time on tests (because it will take a dyslexic student longer to read/write and re-read text)
3. Use of word-prediction software when writing (Co:Writer is a good one.) This will help your child not have to be concerned with spelling and get his/her ideas onto the page. Eventually your child can use dictation software, but this tends to not work as well for kid’s voices.
Also, please make sure the teachers do not count your child off for spelling, and do NOT make him/her read in front of the class!
If you are interested in learning more about accommodations that help for children with dyslexia, I would recommend watching the 3rd video down on this page: http://www.dys-add.com/freeVideos.html (you can also share this link with your child’s teacher). This video was created by Susan Barton, who is an expert in the field of dyslexia. This handout goes along with the video.
Keep in mind as you watch the video that you are going to choose the 3-5 most important accommodations for your child, and push for those with the school to keep it simple (it doesn’t state that until the very end). You may have more luck getting accommodations informally with your child’s teacher this year, then when the school sees how much they help they may be willing to write it into your child’s plan. This will be important for continuity between years or if your child changes schools.