Dyslexia coping strategies

Strategies / Aids for Coping with Dyslexia

Generally - what is suitable for work with adults with dyslexia will benefit other adult literacy learners.

Dyslexia cannot be cured: things can be made better - in a number of areas coping strategies may be more useful than literacy teaching. The learner / tutor need to decide what is more relevant/of immediate use.

Coping strategies can be many and varied - alternative approaches to problems can bring enthusiasm, possibilities and excitement back to learning. Coping strategy options are a major point in literacy work with adults with dyslexia for a number of reasons:

  • Neurological developments which are possible in work with children may no longer possible with adults.
  • Long term structured work on sensory development then may be futile and lead to disappointment and frustration.
  • Adults have more immediate needs often related to practical problems that need short-term solutions.
  • Short-term achievement and confidence building may be more important than limited developments over long periods of time.

Coping strategies / aids which may be of more use than standard tutoring are outlined below.

Handouts and Materials (including publicity)
  • Copied on coloured paper (buff works well)
  • In lowercase - block capitals are difficult to read
  • In 'plain English'
  • Use of plain, clear fonts
  • Use of graphs, pictures or charts to break up reading material
  • Use of white space for handouts, worksheets or publicity materials
  • Use of colour coding as well as referencing
  • Tutors' notes to learners offered in printing style not 'real writing'
  • Information available in a variety of ways: reading, audio, visual
Visual Aids
  • Hand held magnifiers for reading/writing
  • Highlighter pens for reading small areas of text
  • Card/ruler to keep to the line while reading
  • Intuitive (coloured) overlays
  • Coloured rulers
  • Coloured screens used on computers
  • Computer default settings to plain type
  • Set computer icons to larger size
  • Use of computer magnifying tool
Assistive Technology
  • Computers
  • Spellcheckers and Autocorrect (on computers)
  • Screen reading software
  • Voice recognition software
  • Word prediction software
  • Calculators
  • Spellmasters
  • Dictaphones
  • Audio tapes/cds
  • Special keyboards or mouse for fine motor skills
  • Change settings of computer mouse for left handed users.