Biloela family finds keys to learning to read with dyslexia

Will, 14, and Mac Alexander, 10, pictured with brother Ned, 7, are both dyslexic and have learnt to read and write through visual and kinetic aids. Photo Contributed
Will, 14, and Mac Alexander, 10, pictured with brother Ned, 7, are both dyslexic and have learnt to read and write through visual and kinetic aids. Photo Contributed Contributed

WHEN Karla Alexander's two sons were struggling in school, it was a constant battle to try to help them learn to read and write.

The boys are both dyslexic and Mrs Alexander found that conventional teaching methods simply weren't effective.

Dyslexic children are strong visual learners and struggle with conventional phonic methods of teaching, for example, sounding words out.

The Biloela mother said she could try to teach her sons with phonics all day long and it still wasn't as effective as teaching them with pictures and visual or tangible aids.

"He makes the word in clay then puts the picture in his head," she said.

"I started doing it with him at home and he still knows those words we mastered with clay."

This technique came from Dyslexia Australia's Brenda Baird. The organisation will hold a seminar in Rockhampton on July 17.

"I highly recommend it because it's non-phonic," Mrs Alexander said.

"If phonics worked with dyslexics we wouldn't have dyslexics. Her approach is completely different. It's visual and picture thinking and it definitely works."

Mrs Alexander said she had struggled with schools because often they weren't able to teach in a non-phonic manner, instead preferring to teach her sons with intensive phonic methods.

"Everybody's got to have a little struggle in life; it makes you a better person. But to see them struggle so much and have no self esteem ... it's frustrating," she said.

"It is getting better ... if they can put stuff in place in Prep these kids will never get diagnosed because they'll learn to read."

Famous dyslexics

  • Albert Einstein
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Walt Disney
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • Tom Cruise
  • Muhammad Ali
  • Richard Branson
  • Bill Gates
  • Jessica Watson

Topics:  biloela dyslexia family learning read

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