The Top Five Tips For Communicating With Families of Children With Dyslexia
This is a typical experience for many parents. It isn’t hard to imagine the stress and discomfort that the mother in this example is feeling, especially when you realize that this has all occurred before the parent has had an opportunity to hear any information, ask any questions or participate in any decisions. Even a teacher feels out of her element when seated on the other side of the table.
Here are a few tips to make parent communication more effective and comfortable for both of you!
- Avoid using “teacher lingo” when talking to a parent. Try to say what you want to convey in plain English. Using examples sometimes makes it easier to avoid using specialized vocabulary. Instead of saying that “Johnny is learning consonant digraphs,” you might say “Johnny is learning to read words like: bath, shed and chop.” Showing parents a copy of a recent story can give them a better glimpse of reading skills than a number or letter.
- Establish a rapport with parents, just like you do with students. Together you are a team working to help the child learn.
- Make communication part of your regular routine, whether it is formal progress updates or short conversations, don’t wait until there is a problem or concern to open the lines of communication.
- Be honest about the sequence of learning you are following and the child’s progress. There are lots of empty promises directed at parents of children with dyslexia. They deserve to know that remediating reading difficulties, or going through the process of Orton-Gillingham tutoring takes time.