Once a child can easily read a word, then decoding becomes unnecessary. The word (as a whole) is eventually stored away in his or her memory, reading speed increases and the student becomes a fluent reader. This is the ultimate goal, and a dyslexic child can become a fluent reader.
First, your child must learn to decode words with a reading program that is based on the Orton-Gillingham approach. Once they have enough skills to decode words, then they should read books that interest them. This should be done out loud with a proficient reader (such as a parent). According to the National Reading Panel, reading fluidity comes from reading out loud in a consistent manner with feedback. If your child gets stuck on a word, give him or her a chance to decode it, using the sounds and rules taught, offer help when needed (avoid frustration as much as possible). It's very helpful to cover parts of the word with your finger and have him read the sounds learned (along with the rules), this can be any part of the word in any order. For example, if the word is "concentrate", you may want to cover everything but the 'ate', then the 'con', then the 'cen'. If your child knows all the sounds and rules, this multisyllable word may look intimidating, but once broken down, is fairly easy to decode.
You can't fluently read what you can't pronounce. If you've ever read medical abstracts (unless you're a doctor or in the medical field) then you most likely came upon words you didn't recognize. Most people skip over these large, strange sounding words. This is what it's like for a dyslexic child with words they can't pronounce. They would rather skip the word and move on, which can change or lose the meaning of a sentence. To overcome this, make a list of words that your child has trouble pronouncing and go over them daily, until they're mastered. It's a good idea to keep a pad and pen with you when you are reading together, this way you can jot down the words the child has trouble with.
Schools often use the Fountas-Pinnell system to assign a reading level to a student. The chart below shows the levels defined for Fountas-Pinnell, and beneath that chart are links to books for each of those levels (catorgorized by grade). Note that we recommend students read according to their grade, not their ability, using the side-by-side reading method.
* We recommend students read according to their grade, not their ability, using the side-by-side reading method.
Online bookstores, brick and mortar stores and libraries can be overwhelming if you don't know what you're looking for.
Before making your selection, ask around for suggestions and visit sites like Amazon.com to read reviews. Just be aware that your dyslexic child is
probably reading below grade level (one, two or even more years), so choose accordingly.
A method of choosing a book that we do not recommend, is the "five finger method", which is quite popular. The method specifies that If the child has trouble reading five or more words on a page (or doesn't know their meanings) then the book is too difficult. This method is not suitable for dyslexic students, since they will often end up reading books that won't interest them. Instead, we recommend that your child select a book of interest, and then read that book with a proficient reader (a parent, tutor, older sibling, etc.). This should be done side-by-side , where the proficient reader points to each word at it is read, and double-taps on the words incorrectly read. Help should be offered when your child has trouble (see below for more tips), and if reading becomes too difficult, read the larger paragraphs while the child follows along. Let him or her read the smaller paragraphs. The goal is to show that reading is fun and interesting.
We also recommend easy decodable chapter books that are created for dyslexic students who have not yet gained fluency. These type of books offer subject matter that is of interest to an older child but with a reading level for a younger child. Learn more about these books.