Many dyslexic children learn to read at grade level, however, most dyslexic children do not develop a passion for reading-Why?
Why do these Children not Develop a Passion for Reading:
For the same reason adults avoid things they are not good at or things that are difficult. Lets say your best friend is an avid runner and she wants you to run a five mile marathon with her. You have always hated running. You ran track in high school for one year and you hated it. What would your answer be to your friend. Of course you would tell her no thanks. Children are no different. They may become good readers, but often they still avoid reading because reading remains laborious and because they often continue to read slowly, hence they never get to the end of books. Who wants to read a book that they never finish. Kids think if Im never going to get to the end of a book, why read one?
What Can We do to Instill a Passion for Reading in Dyslexic Children?
Encourage these children to read books on topics they are interested in and encourage them to read short stories by writers that they find interesting. Forcing these children to read classic literature and other long reading assignments may be necessary, but this only reinforces the non-joyous side of reading for them and unless we find a middle ground these kids may never develop a love of reading. So the take away message here is perhaps it is better to assign a dyslexic child a short story about a subject that they find fascinating or that interest them instead of the lengthy reading assignments that seem to discourage reading. I have a dyslexic son, and he was recently assigned a book to read for his English class which is part of the standard English curriculum during the eleventh grade: War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. This is no easy book and I could tell by my sons attitude after reading a few pages that this would be one of the times hes searching for “cliff notes” or a book on tape. I know him well enough to know although capable of reading this book, it would be a long, laborious process, and he would learn very little from this painful assignment and this assignment will reinforce the fact that he “hates reading”. I think his time would be better spent reading short stories and working on a writing assignment based on a short story that interest him. All the classic literature assignments in the world will teach the dyslexic child very little if they dont read them, and if our goal is to instill the love of reading, and to continue to improve the reading and writing skills of the dyslexic child, perhaps we should reconsider our standard assignments for literature and writing in high school. Surely classic literature content could be taught using a different modality for dyslexic students, instead of expecting these children to read “War of the Worlds” in one week.