Top study tips for dyslexic students

Dyslexic student

The nature of dyslexia means that dyslexic students can have problems with reading writing, spelling, communication and short term memory. Tutors, parents and friends will all have their own advice but no one can fully understand these problems like you. Understanding this can help you take control and study in a way that is relevant to you. 

If this sounds like you, don’t disappear. Follow these study tips to help break down the barriers that dyslexia creates:
 

Take notes in class

It’s difficult to know exactly when to take notes in class. This problem is only magnified for those with dyslexia. Taking notes, speed writing (without errors) and reflecting on the information can be next to impossible. Try to be selective with your note taking and only select the information that stands out to you. Perhaps mark these points with a smiley face as a visual reminder of what to study. These symbols will help you quickly find the important points while you look over them later on.


Use spell checker

It’s tempting to forget about the importance of good grammar and spelling when the majority of your communications are done via email, text or instant messaging – but it is! We encourage our students to not only be clear in what they’re saying, but also to be grammatically correct. For those who have trouble with grammar and spelling, the technology of spell check can take care of a lot of these problems. It’s quick and easy to use and will save you a lot of time and trouble.  

Cut out the glare

It’s all too easy to get lost when it comes to reading. If you find your eyes scanning the page, desperately trying find your place, it can be frustrating and makes reading feel like a chore. This shouldn’t be the case. We recommend getting hold of a colourful overlay or a reading ruler and placing it over the page. This will cut the glare, make the text clearer and help you find your place. If you’re working on a computer then a good alternative is a monitor overlay which is also designed to cut the glare. 

Double check

Before handing in your work make sure you check your answers for one last time. You’ve probably gone through this 10000 times, but don’t hand anything in you haven’t given a read through. Be especially careful when it comes to numbers as these can easily get jumbled up. An alternative is giving your work to a friend to proofread before submission. They may be able to find hidden mistakes in your work that you haven’t noticed. 

Visual planning 

Starting an essay is one of the most daunting tasks a student will have to face. Be sure to use spider diagrams to jot down your ideas and link them together. This will help you plan your essay. When planning your time make a weekly chart to monitor progress with symbols for each project. Using different colours is a great way to highlight different kinds of information, so that when you read it back you can quickly pick out different topics. 


Software solutions

Today’s technological age has brought with it a wave of software and assistive devices for dyslexic students. This software helps to simplify educational tasks, such as reading, writing and speech. Assistive technology is not a cure for dyslexia, but it does provide alternative strategies for students to compensate for areas of weakness. For example, Natural Reader is text to speech software which can translate any written text such as Microsoft Word, PDF and email into spoken words. Speech to text software allows students to speak the words instead of having to write them down. 

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