It’s important to note that many students with dyslexia have more trouble with writing than with reading—although reading aloud can be especially stressful. That was certainly the case with me. I hated reading aloud, and I also struggled with dysgraphia and had a terrible time putting anything down in writing. Just because I had a hard time translating my thoughts and ideas to paper, it didn’t mean that I didn’t have thoughts and ideas to share. I simply needed a way to work around the dyslexia/dysgraphia. It also meant that I would have to work a lot harder than someone without dyslexia to accomplish the same thing.
So here are some tools and strategies I use for dealing with two things that can strike terror into the heart of a dyslexic person: reading aloud and writing. This week I’ll just cover reading aloud. Next week I’ll talk about writing, and why the obvious solution is so very amazing in my opinion.
Reading aloud. For most dyslexics, having to read aloud to a group is very stressful and some go to great lengths to avoid it. I know I did early on. Now I find that public reading is one my favorite things to do, although it does require quite a bit of prep work on my part. I don’t do well if asked to sight-read something that I haven’t reviewed ahead of time.
Before doing any public reading, I will first carefully read over the material and highlight the hard words. These include words that I am afraid may not quickly roll off my tongue as well as any new words that I may come across. I will also write out the phonetic pronunciation of any of those words that are giving me particular difficulty that day and practice reading those words aloud over and over until I feel comfortable.
Next, I read the entire section aloud and as I do, I mark any awkward places that I may need to give extra attention. But the work is not over yet. The final step is to take a few minutes to really notice the punctuation and the meaning behind the words. I will then read through it again (as many times as necessary) practicing the proper pausing, pace, power and pitch. It is a lot of work, but the final outcome is very rewarding!