Every month or so I receive a newsletter from the World of Dyslexia . It is always full of interesting news stories, tips for teachers and parents and links to research articles. (These appear not to be moderated so it’s important to take some entries with a pinch of salt, by the way).

The goal of the organisers, John Bradford, is to:

help dyslexic children, teenagers and adults by making information about dyslexia freely available throughout the whole English-speaking world using the access provided by the Internet. The websites and Discussion Forums he founded are visited by more than three million people each year. The monthly World of Dyslexia newsletter is subscribed to by over 27,000 people.

The site links to courses for parents and teachers. I have no knowledge of these and have no opinion as to their worth. The Course Director John Bradford , however, has written several very useful articles for parents. Here is a section from the article on hearing reading at home which could be very valuable.Girl reading to an adult

John Bradford writes:

Reading with your child at home can easily become very stressful if it is not handled correctly. It can cause great frustration if you feel that your child is not learning to read as fast as you expect, or if you have discovered that your child is dyslexic. This article will set out some guidelines which have proved extremely helpful to many parents.

The first point is to realize that reading a book together must be for pleasure, and is not the time to be stopping over difficult words and trying to work out what they say from the sounds of the letters.

If your child cannot read a word within a second or two then use the Golden Rule: just tell them the word and move on with the story. This goes against most parents’ instincts, but is the only way for the two of you to get on with the book and enjoy the story.

Bradford writes of the importance of ensuring a child has the confidence to take risks with reading, using all available clues and strategies in a stress-reduced environment. Sometimes parents want so hard to do the very best for their child that they fail to take note of the tension that failure causes and exacerbate a sensitive situation. Reading at home should be a pleasant and fulfilling activity for all concerned.

Golden Rules indeed!

PS I was even more impressed on seeing that I could access this article in Spanish. I’m taking an evening class in the language and welcome the chance to try to read something that I know a bit about: context is all and informed guesswork takes you a long way.

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