Dyslexic Children: 7 Important Interventions

Dyslexic children are present in both local and international schools in Hong Kong. Regardless of what language is the medium of instruction in a child’s school some important interventions to consider are as follows:

In general as much work as possible should be adjusted to the child’s rate, capacity and level and include plenty of opportunities for success. He or she should not be continually presented with work that is well above their ability to comprehend.  Teachers should keep things as structured as possible and focus on their achievements and efforts whenever possible. 

Small group and one to one teaching time are essential. Dyslexic children may also have attention problems so working in a smaller group or one to one usually minimizes distractions.


When a child is in the 6 to 10 year old range it is usually best to implement an intervention that focuses on development of basic phonics and word attack skills. This will help build the child’s reading vocabulary and increase fluency. Daily drill over a period of 3-9 months or longer is usually necessary and helpful. The intervention time can vary with the chronological and reading age of the child. Examples include “Toe by Toe” and some others that are available at the following website   www.linguisystems.com


Extra time to read directions, complete assignments, check written work and take tests should be considered. Completing work in a quiet area may also be helpful. Consider having peer helpers that can read directions to the child.


When teachers are probing knowledge of subject areas such as Geography or Science, they could consider letting the child demonstrate understanding by giving verbal answers and/or by using diagrams, charts, graphs or other forms of visual representation. If the child has to demonstrate mastery of concepts in writing it may not be reflective of what they really know.


Parents and teachers should encourage the child to develop keyboarding skills. In the long term it will likely be easier for him/her to produce written material on a computer. Utilization of a laptop computer in the classroom on a more regular basis should be considered in the upper years of primary and into secondary school.


Read to the child on a regular basis and ask questions about the content as well as having them read words or parts of  passages to assist with development of comprehension skills.  Make weekly trips to the library part of your regular routine and let the child self select reading materials in areas in which they take an interest.