When my son reads aloud, I typically point to the words and he reads them. This doesn’t always work very well because he will often read a different word than the one I am pointing to. He also has a hard time pointing to the words himself. We tried using a bookmark to cover the other words so that he only reveals one word at a time, and that works, but he lacks the skill to do it effectively on his own.
I recently discovered that the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, is dyslexic. In an interview he mentioned that all of his books and speeches are marked up with pencil because he underlines words as he reads them.
That’s it. I told you it was super simple.
I had my son try it out, and for us it has worked really well. It’s such a small thing, but we have found that it really helps him to keep track of where he is on the page and it gives him something to do.
I remember one time when my son was reading I noticed that he was looking all around the room instead of down at the page. When I asked him why he was doing that he said, “It’s just that, when I’m reading, there’s nothing to do!” At the time I thought this was pretty funny, and figured it just meant that he was bored and would rather be playing than reading. Fair enough, probably true. But underlining the words as he reads solves that problem because it gives him something TO DO.
The final benefit of this technique is that he can do it by himself. With the other techniques I really had to do it for him and I kept thinking, “How is he ever going to do this on his own?!” So, thank you, Governor Newsom for the tip, and for the reminder that dyslexic people can do anything they set their mind to.
Here’s a link to one of the Governor’s interviews where he talks about underlining at minute 6:10.