Before I start the lesson proper I will write on how you can help your dyslexic child learn some of the most difficult things they encounter. They have difficulty learning abstract things.
1. John's (my first student) father complained about John's teacher saying that the teacher writes instructions on the board and John finds it difficult to copy them in time. John's father than asked the teacher to move John to the front row and also requested the teacher to please give important instructions in a written form. This helped John a great deal. Dyslexics find copying from the blackboard a very difficult task. If your child is dyslexic inform his class teacher to get your child to sit in the front row. Schools should accommodate these requests. Request that important messages be given to the child in writing as he may not be able to copy messages on the white board in time.
2. Initially John used to substitute words. This happened when we began reading story books beyond his grade level. He used to substitute home for house, mouse for rat, end for finish and many other words. This used to occur on the second or third reading. This means he has learned sight reading and substituting a word similar in meaning. We continued and soon he was reading above his grade level. His mother was elated when John brought the report card at the end of year one. The teacher had written "From a boy who could not read at all to the most improved reader in the class."
3. When he was in primary 5 his father asked me to coach him in mathematics and science as well.
We had many hurdles to cross and some of them are:
a) Sequencing - what comes after 6? What comes before 6 and so on. I spent many days getting him to understand "what comes between 8 and 10" and after that another problem was “what comes between 10 and 8". This was when I thought that he had completely understood what I had already taught him. To most of us it is obvious that between 8 and 10 and between 10 and 8 is the same thing but this is not easy for the dyslexic child. Teach this by writing the numbers sequentially and showing him. Dyslexic children need to see things and understand what you are getting at. It helps him to see it on paper. Take a bit more time on this aspect as all of my students had this as a major hurdle to cross. Ask this daily for a few minutes until he gets it. Do not spend too long a time with this on any single day. If he does not get it in the first few minutes leave it and do it the following day. You should not continue until he gets fed up.
It is very important that you teach this sequencing. Give as many examples as possible including real life situations - like when you are waiting in line at the checkout counter of a supermarket. "We are now in front of the lady in red. The tall man is behind us. Who is standing between you and the red dressed lady?” and as many other examples you can think of. Do this every opportunity you get and he will grasp the meaning sooner or later.
Teaching a dyslexic sequencing is one of the most difficult things you will encounter.