Organisational Skill levels of Children with Dyslexia and DCD (Schools out, a must read) by Dyslexia Dublin CETC © 2014
With children who struggle to plan and structure their events, including school, this often stems from weak or non-existent organizational skills. This can lead to incomplete tasks, such as failing to complete homework and other activities. Parents work particularly hard in all they do, but vigilance is key to making sure this is picked up early.
Due to the sheer nature of both Dyslexia and DCD, it is important that we don’t leap to the wrong conclusion and blame our children through the likes of inattention, lethargy or avoidance…for the most part they are not disobedient children, often the contrary. It can be quite difficult for parents and teachers to know if a child is struggling with various tasks due to lack of motivation, poor organization or the inability to organise (multi-tasking) or demonstrate sound time management skills. Children who attempt, but struggle, with set tasks require a structure to enable them to organise events on a daily and weekly basis…it is very important to structure their week and allow very little to get in the way of that structure. It would be so easy for this to all collapse after all your and their hard work. Masking is something girls do very well, boys tend to let the world no they are bother by lack of organisation or they are unable to grasp a new concept.
How can we help our children?
Start by having a structured routine. This will include set times for regular events like homework, household, etc…make this fair by allowing them more time than a child without DCD…give shorter lists of instruction…sand timers are very good for showing children time in a very visual way.
Start with a colour calendar week planner and show the different tasks in colour, as this will be easier to follow…reward good progress!
Ask them if they have followed the schedule/planner and eventually move to allow them to plan in the future…this also takes some of the fear away from new events and holidays, etc.
Have a designated area for putting school books, backpacks, etc.
Make sure they give you things like their lunchbox and ask them if they enjoyed it (this will give you some idea that they have eaten it!)
Keep an eye on the planner and double check that the dates for assignments and trips are correct.
Try a white board in the kitchen for remembering bigger events (visual is good)!
Make mind/road maps on post it notes to help with getting ready for school…use one post it for each task to start with and stick them in bedroom bathroom kitchen etc
Use a jug of time….I find this very good when teaching…take a jug with say one or two litres and divide it by the time you think they need to get ready for school…including maybe some telly.
Homework where possible should reflect the work they are doing in class and not fresh work they have never studied before, why…well dyslexics and those with DCD have slower processing speeds and need to over learn by revisiting their earlier work and going over this two, three or in some cases even four times is required and if they are afforded this extra mile they will retain the information, we see this in our centres and also with our distance learners .
And fill the jug as time passes at the same time telling them how they are eating into their telly or treat time…I do this with the tuition and the bit at the end is playing games time and its amazing how after a period they associate being quicker at everything they get more game time.
Children with both DCD and dyslexia are known for their long term/episodic memories, however short term is the opposite in many cases…if you want your children to improve their organisational skill set a program of support will yield great benefits and will also improve their academic ability.
Memory training is a must for taking this forward and we sell a lot of resources to help improve memory and I would also use these in our own training centre to great effect, you can find them at www,dyslexiadublin.ie
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Dyslexia Dublin CETC © 2014