FIVE STEPS TO LEARNING FOR DYSLEXICS
In view of the right-brained students’ learning styles, these five steps set out the criteria that can be provided for them each time you teach them a new lesson, analyze new information, give out an assignment or expect them to complete the work to meet you expectations.
The Dyslexic student will always have a lot of questions about their tasks in school. If they speak up in class or at home with many questions and some that seem obvious, they are not trying to be annoying. They really need answers to their questions. You might even find that the Dyslexic student will ask the same questions about a new assignment that is the same as a previous one. They are very literal and will need confirmation that the instructions are still the same.
Be aware of the quiet student who seems to struggle with their work because they also may have many concerns but are too afraid to ask.
Dyslexic students think in wholes and depend on having the full picture in order to understand it. Therefore, they must be given answers to the following questions which fill in all the information that complete the assignments.
1. WHY? Why must I learn this? (Purpose)
The right-brained individual must first know WHY they should accept an assignment or do a lesson. If they do not get an explanation, they will not understand the rest of the instructions. Once the student knows how they will benefit from a lesson and grasps the purpose of the related exercise(s), their mind will open up and flood with multi-faceted ideas on the subject.
2. WHAT? What do you expect to find in my answer(s)?
This step requires explanations of the information to be analyzed, written about and discussed in an assignment. The Dyslexic student must be taught a new lesson in ways that allow the right brain to analyze and understand “cause and effect”. This means decoding the spelling and meaning of any new words or ideas, and providing ways for the students to focus on and choose the appropriate answers.
The right-brained student must be trained by examples they can see, hear and write down, not just have the instructions dictated or in written form. The right- brained person cannot understand and carry out oral or written directions without seeing the physical materials, hearing a clear, full explanation of their use, and handling the materials. This will implant the ideas of the directions in the brain in complete, three dimensional images. The student must be told and shown by example exactly what you expect to read in their answers to your questions and how you want their answers to be organized.
3. HOW? How do I present my answers? (Format)
Orally, hand printed, written down or typed on computer? In single words, sentences, paragraphs or essays? The skills required are the basic rules of grammar, sentence structure, paragraph and essay formats. The student needs to be shown full procedures for organizing the ideas and answers either on paper or for oral presentation. The best teaching tool for this is writing examples for them of topic sentences, topic paragraphs and even the parts of the body of the essay.
4. WHEN? When do I start, finish and hand in the assignment? (Completion time)
These students must be instructed when to start the assignment, in class or at home and when they must be finished the work for handing in. Without these instructions the Dyslexic student does not understand the time limits involved. They can also panic if these times are too short for them to complete the amount of work to be done. If the project due date is a long way off they will fail to get their work completed by the expected date because they have no clear concept or understanding of time.
This is an example of thinking, visualizing and understanding in whole concepts. All the parts must be assembled at the start and organized into a whole visual image. Once again the abstract concept of time requires a step by step explanation until the concept is complete. The Dyslexic student may not even start on the assignment until you tell them to do so.
5. OUTCOME? What have I learned? How will I use this information in future?(Success in learning)
The students must understand the whole picture, its outcome and future applications in lessons or assignments if they are to complete the assignments.
It comes full circle: Why have I done this? What have I learned? What purpose will it serve me in the future? If the Dyslexic student doesn't have a logical reason to learn the material then they have a difficult time accepting it and getting started. Everything must have a function for the Dyslexic student.