Finding dyslexia schools for your child
As the parent of a dyslexic child you know how hard it can be finding the right school for your child. You know your child has the potential for academic success. But you also know he will need special support to get there. Unfortunately, this special support is something children rarely find in public schools. Teachers rarely have the expertise needed to get the best out of dyslexic students, and hence their good intentions rarely produce results. Often a lack of appropriate support leaves dyslexic children feeling frustrated, which can manifest itself in mood or behavioral disorders. Furthermore, dyslexia is often misunderstood as a lack of intelligence, which can discourage dyslexic pupils and lower both their self-esteem and their academic aspirations.
Luckily, there are many great schools for dyslexia that can completely change your child’s experience of school. Schools come in many shapes and sizes, and there are many specialist dyslexia schools that know how to create the right environment for dyslexic children. With an estimated 10 million students in the US with dyslexia, there are more options than ever among dyslexia friendly schools.
Research supported by the International Dyslexia Association suggests that the text-based approach to education favored by the public school system does not benefit dyslexic children who require multisensory teaching methods involving visual and auditory stimuli as well as physical activity. Public schools may label your child as “slow,” and equate difficulty decoding words with low intelligence. Specialist dyslexia schools typically offer a range of lesson styles to benefit dyslexic children, who learn best in non-traditional environments. Adding in art, sports and music enables student to derive satisfaction from accomplishment outside of academics.
What to look for in dyslexia schools
No single ‘best’ school for dyslexic students exists, as every child is different. Things to look for, however, when choosing a school include small class sizes and a low student to teacher ratio, the use of multisensory teaching methods, and training for parents. Teachers should be well-versed in many methods including Lindamood Bell, Barton, Alphabetic Phonics, Slingerland, Wilson, Spalden, Wired for Reading and Orton Gillingham. Dyslexia-friendly schools cultivate student persistence. Most importantly, look for a school that really understands what dyslexia is. Best dyslexia schools will nurture the unique aptitudes that dyslexics have including the ability to listen intently and speak extemporaneously. For dyslexics, learning is hard and they are forced to think deeply. Best schools for dyslexia will teach students to value their capacity for non-sequential and creative thinking.