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How children with dyslexia find focus.

(#3/5 Stick Shift Blogs)

Let’s talk about helping children with dyslexia find focus. We talked about how highlighting helps comprehension in our last blog. We called it getting into ‘second gear’. Third gear is getting into ‘focus’ by taking notes.

Let’s say your child gets into second gear and experiences the joy of understanding what they’ve read by highlighting key words. Now they want to share it with their teacher the next day at school. But the explanation ends up being very random and doesn’t come out right. What’s happening? Everyone experiences this, it’s why we learn to take notes to help us focus on what to say. People with dyslexia experience this alot.

Girl with BulletMap

Dyslexia throws a curveball when it comes to taking notes. We find it very hard to summarise with written notes and end up trying to write everything down. We rarely find the kind of focus that automatic thinkers do when they are note taking. Often we just give up on taking notes. But we need notes.

The solution is taking visual notes. Like drawing it out, doing a diagram or a map. It helps us organise what we know and to focus on the important bits.

Nearly every dyslexia and dysgraphia assessment advises the use of “graphic organisers”.  There are many varieties. Mind mapping is the graphic organiser method recommended by most dyslexia assessors. I use the BulletMap™ System of mind mapping.

Let’s summarise the last three emails. A child with dyslexia needs to find a way to:

1. Read

2. Highlight 

3. Take visual notes.

children with bulletmaps

The next step is explaining yourself! Dyslexia can affect that too. Have you experienced your child giving you an unnecessarily long complicated answer to a simple question? In tomorrow’s email we will talk about fourth gear. Click next


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