These are some ideas which we have found helpful. Activities which you can use to help your child, without making him, or her, feel under pressure to perform:

Reading Skills

If a child is having Dyslexia type difficulties with reading it is important not to put him under too much pressure by doing catch-up letter learning work after school. But there are ways you can help by playing games.

Some useful games are:
Rhyming Lotto
Alphabet Soundtracks
(try the Early Learning Centre for some of these games)
Give lots of help at first, until they can do it themselves. There are also other games that you probably played as a child which will help your child's memory and reading skill. ("word association", "I went to market...", "Captain's calling".....etc)

For help with learning the alphabet I recommend the Computer program, "The Talking Animated Alphabet" by Sherston. Also the BBC's "Word and Pictures" and "Word and Pictures Plus". Both the TV programmes (morning schools TV, BBC2) and the web site games and activities


For children who are having problems in maths I recommend playing lots of card games, dice games and dominoes.

Strategy and logic games are very valuable too, draughts, chess, "Rushhour", Solitaire, Battleships.

There are lots of these kinds of games on the web, here are two totally addictive ones to start you off:
MathGorilla on the mathsyear2000 site (follow the "Games" link),
and Rushhour

Physical skills

Cycling: It will seem like it is never going to happen, but when your child eventually gets the hang of cycling it will really improve their awareness of their body in space. Go somewhere where there is no one to laugh, and no one to criticise, and allow your child to spend time learning how.

Swimming: This is the other activity which helps with body awareness. A child with Dyspraxia isn't usually an elegant swimmer, but should be expected to be able to learn.

This is another area where the traditional games we all played as children can be helpful. Skipping, hopscotch, ball games (if your child will play them - one of mine finds ball games so difficult he just refuses to be involved), walking and balancing on low walls or the rocks on the beach, trampolining, french cricket, even playing chase games, puddle jumping, stream damming, and go-carts. We have found that once the children are older skateboards are another useful craze to encourage (remember the helmet and knee pads etc....). Walking is something else that costs nothing and provides useful exercise. Give your child a back pack and let them carry books back from the library or maybe some of the shopping, their own coat and picnic on days out. Judge how much they can comfortably carry, each child is different. They also enjoy being given a walking stick for country walks.

For help with poor fine motor skills, look for thick easy to hold pencils, to help with writing. Special knives and forks (which are designed for arthritic hands) can help at meal times. Activities like, bead patterns (the iron together type), lego, and weaving on a small loom can provide beneficial exercise.

A few books that we have found useful:

The Reality of Dyslexia
by John Osmond

This book should be read by everyone who is involved in the teaching and care of children and young people with Dyslexia.

Overcoming Dyslexia
by Beve Hornsby

I found this to be a good well balanced book, that provides helpful information for those beginning to investigate Dyslexia.

The ACE Spelling Dictionary
by David Mosely

This is a spelling dictionary specially designed for people with Dyslexia. It doesn't list words alphabetically, but uses a different system for finding words. It also accommodates for all those really tricky spellings that can cause real problems for people with Dyslexia.

Reading Reflex
by Carmen McGuiness
& Geoffrey McGuiness

Many people with Dyslexia have found this reading programme helpful. It is worth a look if you are considering a phonetically based reading programme for your child.