Engaging a Child with Dyslexia in Memorising, Visualising and Rhyming

By Tracey Wood, Katrina Cochrane

Part of Understanding & Managing Dyslexia For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

A child with dyslexia struggles to remember how words are put together in print, but rhyming and visualisation strategies can help her. When she turns letters into lively, more concrete characters, she can fix them better in her mind:

  • Help your child with short vowel sounds by having her draw images into the vowels while saying their short sounds. For example, she can create an apple out of a; draw an egg inside the top part of e; convert a pen with a blob of ink on top into i; change o into an octopus; and draw an arrowhead on each of the two top ends of u so it represents ‘up’.

  • Help your child read and spell words like late, hole and cute by showing her the ‘Bossy e rule’: when e is on the end of a short word, it bosses the earlier vowel into saying its name (but stays silent itself).

  • Help your child read and spell long-vowel words like meet, neat, nail and boat by teaching her this rule: ‘When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking (and says its name).’