Literacy Tips for Children With Learning Disabilities

Parents and students can use the "5 Finger Rule" to gauge the skill level required for a book

Many children have learning hurdles they must overcome in order to be successful. Some of those children have a harder time than others because they are working to overcome a learning disability.

Emmanuel Hernandez, 11, is one of those children. "This is go-time. This is the big time," Hernandez said as he talked about getting ready for middle school.

Hernandez, his parents and his teachers have known for some time that Hernandez has dyslexia, but he has not let it slow him down when it comes to his love of reading. 

"Whenever you read a different book, its takes you into a different world," Hernandez said.

He has learned tips and tricks along the way to help when he is having a hard time.

"If it’s tough, I do this thing called tapping. So if there is a word, like 'super, s-u-p-e-r, super," Hernandez explained.

Hernandez even uses a mobile app that can help.

In addition to mobile apps like Read2Me, AppWriter and Reading Trainer, literacy advocate group Reading Partners North Texas suggest parents and students using the "5 Finger Rule."

Help your child pick a book you think they will like — possibly a subject they have shown interest in. Read the second page of the book. Tell your child to hold up a finger for each word they aren’t sure they understand or don't know how to pronounce. If there are five or more words they don’t know, choose an easier book.

If it’s still not too difficult, try the five finger rule again on two more pages. Just to make sure it’s not too much of a challenge.

ONLINE: 50 Apps for Reading Disabilities

ONLINE: Tips for parents with kids with learning disabilities.

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