Dyslexia

Michael Morpurgo, the UK’s Children's Laureate 2003-05, says: “With specialist help and the right books, children with dyslexia can become confident readers.

"Children who see parents reading will want to read themselves.  Talk to your children about why you love the books you do and the positive reading experiences you have had.

"If you can, carry on reading with your child into their teens.  You will be cementing a personal bond that will last throughout your lives”.

Many people with dyslexia benefit from signing and fingerspelling when they’re learning to read:

  • It helps them visualise words
  • It helps with writing problems, like getting ‘b’ and ‘d’ the wrong way round
  • It’s fun to learn
  • "Photo´ sounds like ´foto´.  But the children can SEE it’s a ‘ph’ and not a ‘f’ with fingerspelling.  They can SEE that a ‘ch’ sound is not a ‘sh’ sound." Signs for Success teacher

Subtitles on the Signed Stories app can be customised to make reading easier. 

View the signed video explaining this text

Choosing books to read with dyslexic children

Stories on the Signed Stories app have subtitles that can be customised. We’ve taken advice from Dyslexia Action to provide options for the colour, size and style of the subtitles, and you can turn them off.

Waterstones booksellers and Dyslexia Action offer this advice on what to look for when choosing books for dyslexic children:

  • A subject you know the reader is interested in
  • Short sentences and paragraphs - these help to maintain interest and encourage a feeling of progress
  • Wide margins and plenty of space - these encourage good reading flow and pace
  • Margins to the right of the page - it is easier to distinguish between those lines read and those yet to be read
  • Books that have pictures or headings - these help navigation and break up text into manageable chunks
  • Books that are printed on tinted paper - they can be easier to read than black text on bright white paper
  • Books that are printed in a clear sans serif font - they're easier for the eyes to follow
  • Books that are well-structured and easy to follow
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Help your child enjoy reading

Many dyslexic children will be reluctant readers – maybe because they find it too difficult, or because it reminds them too much of the reading they have to do at school.

But you can help your child to enjoy reading for pleasure.

  • Make up your own stories, so there are no words to read. This encourages your child to retell them and make up their own stories.
  • Act the story out with instruments and props, and illustrate it with your own pictures.
  • Why not visit our resources section for fun after-story activities? You’ll find everything from colouring-in sheets to arts and crafts ideas.
  • Give your child the opportunity to read alone, whether it’s from a book, on a mobile device or e-reader or on a website.
  • You can teach your child about safety on the Internet here.
  • Make it fun! Make reading part of your children’s daily routine and read favourite stories again and again.
View the signed video explaining this text