Beginner readers and children with specific learning difficulties such as Dyspraxia, Autism and Dyslexia often find it difficult to read in a straight line. Without correct visual tracking the reader skips around the page and will not understand what is being read.
Using a “pointer” can be helpful, of course. Please see my post: Finger Pointing Fun . If the pointer alone is not helping you many need to create a slider to control the amount of text that your child sees at any one time.
Beginner readers will probably get the hang of reading in a straight line after a short while. For some children, however, it is a regular and persistent difficulty. While studying for my Masters in Eduction, I tutored many children with Dyslexia and Dyspraxia and devised a neat tool to help them stay on track!
All you need is some paint samples/card, glue and a bulldog clip. That’s it!
Glue two of the rectangles together to create an “L” shape. (I glued the yellow strip, edge to edge with the bottom of the blue). This creates the bottom of your slider and the upright “L” shape.
Attach another rectangle to the upright part with your bulldog clip ( I used a purple one for this). The advantage of the bulldog clip is that it allows you to increase or decrease the depth of the window so that it correctly fits the text .
Now you have an adjustable window for your child to read through. Neat or what?!
After while you can either:
- make the window wide enough that two lines are visible (this gently encourages your child to develop their own visual tracking skills)
- use just one rectangle place it underneath the line your child is reading.
The order that I have listed is just a suggestion and is not set in stone. If you play around with the slider you will find out what is best for your child. With some practice, your child will have learned to visually track print and will no longer need it. In the meantime I hope that this helps.
Miss Mernagh 🙂