Monday, July 12, 2010

How I teach my dyslexic students - Part 1

This is an introduction of my article on “How I teach my dyslexic students”.

Many children find learning to read in English easy but not so a dyslexic. Dyslexia is a learning style with strengths and weaknesses. With timely intervention and effective instruction dyslexics can learn at a rapid rate and can even do exceptionally well in school.
Some of the characteristics of  dyslexic children are:

•         Dyslexic children have average or above average intelligence.

•         Dyslexics do not grow out of dyslexia but with early intervention and appropriate instruction they can learn to read and write and be good at other academic subjects.

•         Dyslexics have a problem decoding only in languages that are orthographically inconsistent and even this weakness can be remedied with proper instruction.

•         As I have mentioned many times in my articles dyslexic children are not stupid. Their failure is directly related to inappropriate teaching instruction.

Within six months of primary one, a parent would know that his child is performing below grade level and should immediately give the child one to one tuition. A one to one tuition may save the child from acquiring a reading disability. Do not listen to advice such as, “Do not worry, he will catch on.” Instead ask yourself as to why he is not performing at grade level.

I am not a trained teacher and I have successfully taught many dyslexic students. So, do not worry about those people who say you need a trained teacher to teach a dyslexic child. Many of these so called ‘experts’, with a string of degrees, have probably not taught a single soul. Their advice is solely based on theory.

The most important thing you can do is to build up the damaged confidence and self-esteem of your child. Make sure he knows he is loved for himself, and that this love is not dependent on how well he does at school.

Be very encouraging and find things he is good at. Praise him for effort – remember how hard he has to try to achieve success in reading, writing and mathematics.

Encourage areas in which he can experience success, such as creative areas and activities such as sports, which involve physical co-ordination. Encourage hobbies, interests and out of school activities.

As a parent or teacher you will be surprised at how quickly the child will advance given encouragement and proper instruction.

The lessons in my blog can help parents teach their dyslexic child effectively. I have incorporated phonics and sight words whereby any child will be able to read simple lessons commencing from my second lesson. The lessons can be found from my March articles. However, it is best to read from my first article onwards as I have many notes prior to my lessons which explain how and why I teach my students the way I do. The notes are an integral part of the lessons.

There are many methods out there to teach a child to read and by no means is my method the only way or the best way. However, many of the material available are not cheap whilst mine is free of charge.

For notes on lessons click here:

6 comments: said...

I admire what you are doing! Good job on your blog! I want to recommend a research-based methodology for you to take a look at called "Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself". This is an explicit, systematic and sequential phonics instruction. A free workshop for parents and tutors is offered free in 3-5 hours worth of interactive training. You will also find a free dyslexia assessment in the language information center at our website. See

Luqman Michel said...

Thank you for your kind words and your information.

Lesley said...

You have it spot on Luqman, you don't need a teaching degree to teach these kids, just understanding.

Luqman Michel said...

Thank you Lesley.I am sorry I did not see your comment earlier.

KateGladstone said...

"Dyslexic children have average or above average intelligence." —


Is this guaranteed? In other words: how is it impossible for dyslexia and low intelligence to happen in the same person, just as blindness and deafness can happen in the same person?

I notice that you say this about dyslex *childrn* — is it different for dyslexic *adults*?

Luqman Michel said...

Hi Kate, thank you for your well thought out questions. 1) "Is it guaranteed?" I would not dare say it is. I can only base my findings on the students I have taught. Dyslexics are just judged by their poor reading and writing skills. Dyslexics do not perform up to the level that their thinking and reasoning abilities would predict.

However, reading skills are acquired and have nothing to do with intelligence. In fact, all my dyslexic students have average to above average intelligence. I base my findings purely on observation of my students while I teach. As mentioned in my blog, somewhere, my students come up with unimaginable endings to stories when I stop them midway or towards the end of a story and ask them to finish the story. I am sure you will agree that you need intelligence to do this.

I have also written about my students who can complete a jigsaw puzzle faster than most people can. If anything taught is logical they can absorb it fast and easily.They can solve many riddles that even adults find difficult to solve. This probably explains why Einstein can write about something like relativity which I will not understand even if I studied it for the next one month. Steven Spielberg is able to do movies that need imagination beyond most people’s imagination. Bill Gates dropped out of school and is one of the richest men in the world because of his intelligence. All these examples and more point me in the direction that dyslexics are above average intelligence.

I regret that I would not be able to guarantee that it is impossible for dyslexics to be of low intelligence.They, in general are average or above average in intelligence.

2.I teach only dyslexic children and therefore unable to comment on adults. However, I would say that if a dyslexic is above average intelligence it must include adults.

Kate ,do come back if you have any further question and I will try my best to share with you what I know.