Ten Ideas to Encourage Your Dyslexic Teenager to Read

How to encourage your dyslexic teen to read

The dyslexic teenager is likely to consider reading to be a laborious and challenging activity, to be avoided at all costs.

Primary schools do a very good job at promoting the reading habit.  But as pupils move to high school, with all its distractions – new subjects, lots of after-school clubs and activities – not to mention a sudden interest in the opposite sex – reading can take a back seat.  Especially if they were reluctant readers in the first place.

Reading means achieving

Research into the reading skills of 15 year olds across the world found that children who are more interested in reading do better at school than those who don’t read for pleasure. The study also found that parents who talk to their children about books, TV programmes and films help to keep their children interested in reading. By helping and encouraging your teenager to read for pleasure you will help them to succeed at school. 

  1. Encourage your teenager to join your local Public Library or to visit the School Library.  Libraries usually stock a range of DVDs and magazines–even if they just go there to borrow these to begin with, they might find a book catches their eye in the process!

  2. Any reading is good reading. Give them the freedom to choose what to read.  They are far more likely to read if they make their own choices.  Don’t dismiss books like The Wimpy Kid series.  Encourage them to read magazines, newspapers and the internet as well as books.  All of these play a role in developing reading.

  3. Discuss what your teen doesn’t like about the books they read, as well as what they enjoy.

  4. Make time to read together if you can.  You could read the sports pages at the back of the paper together.  Or read through some of the quizzes in their magazines.  Make sure your teen sees you reading.  Send out the right message.

  5. Buy books as presents. There are lots of TV tie-ins available.  Try looking for these, as well as books about their interests such as a favourite band or sport.

  6. Try to get your teen to read as often as possible for practical purposes. Perhaps they could read a recipe or instructions to make something to you as you follow?  Or you could try getting them to read what’s on TV that night to you and then choose what to watch together. Or try asking them to ‘look up’ a question on Google for you and read you the answer back.

  7. Look for audio CDs and MP3 versions of popular books that they can listen to on their i-pod or phone.  Just listening can, in itself, help to build vocabulary.  Even better,  following the story in the book as it is read to them will help them to tackle more difficult words.

  8. Many great teenage books have been adapted into films.  What about the book your child is reading in school?  There may be a film version.  For example, “Private Peaceful” or “Holes”.  Watching the film may just spark enough interest to tackle the book.

  9. Graphic novels are becoming more popular and are a good stepping stone between magazines and novels.  You can even buy graphic adaptations of classics such as A Christmas Carol and plays such as Macbeth or An Inspector Calls that your teenager may be studying at school.

  10. If your teenager enjoyed reading a particular book or likes one author, find something similar for them at www.whatshouldireadnext.com.

 

 

Posted in Dyslexia News

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