Tools and Strategies for Dealing with Dyslexia: Reading Aloud

Tools and Strategies for Dealing with Dyslexia: Reading Aloud

Illustration of a troubled boy reading aloud in front of his classroom while students snooze and draw on their shoes and whisper to each other.

It’s important to note that many students with dyslexia have more trouble with writing than with reading—although reading aloud can be especially stressful. That was certainly the case with me. I hated reading aloud, and I also struggled with dysgraphia and had a terrible time putting anything down in writing. Just because I had a hard time translating my thoughts and ideas to paper, it didn’t mean that I didn’t have thoughts and ideas to share. I simply needed a way to work around the dyslexia/dysgraphia. It also meant that I would have to work a lot harder than someone without dyslexia to accomplish the same thing.

So here are some tools and strategies I use for dealing with two things that can strike terror into the heart of a dyslexic person: reading aloud and writing. This week I’ll just cover reading aloud. Next week I’ll talk about writing, and why the obvious solution is so very amazing in my opinion.

Reading aloud. For most dyslexics, having to read aloud to a group is very stressful and some go to great lengths to avoid it. I know I did early on. Now I find that public reading is one my favorite things to do, although it does require quite a bit of prep work on my part. I don’t do well if asked to sight-read something that I haven’t reviewed ahead of time.

Before doing any public reading, I will first carefully read over the material and highlight the hard words. These include words that I am afraid may not quickly roll off my tongue as well as any new words that I may come across. I will also write out the phonetic pronunciation of any of those words that are giving me particular difficulty that day and practice reading those words aloud over and over until I feel comfortable.

Next, I read the entire section aloud and as I do, I mark any awkward places that I may need to give extra attention. But the work is not over yet. The final step is to take a few minutes to really notice the punctuation and the meaning behind the words. I will then read through it again (as many times as necessary) practicing the proper pausing, pace, power and pitch. It is a lot of work, but the final outcome is very rewarding!

Illustration of an excited boy reading aloud in a classroom while other students follow along. What tools can help those with dyslexia with reading aloud?

Thank you for reading about Tools and Strategies for Dealing with Dyslexia: Reading Aloud. For a thorough discussion of the social and emotional support children with dyslexia require, read my award-winning book, Raising a Child with Dyslexia: What Every Parent Needs to Know, available in softcover, hardcover, eBook, and audio.

Cardboard Box Adventures picture books are great for shared reading and can help parents establish a strong preliteracy foundation for their children. Check out the CBA Catalog for a full list of award-winning picture books, chapter books, and resources for parents and educators. Visit my Don M. Winn Amazon author page for more information.


  1. Evelyn Domingo says:

    Now you gave me an idea. I will let my 20 year old son with dyslexia read aloud. I hope i will be successful with it.

    1. Don M. Winn says:

      Sounds good. Please let me know how it goes.

  2. anjie jones says:

    thats for the suggestions. I will try them on my 8 year old.

    1. anjie jones says:

      sorry misspelled,
      thanks for the suggestions.

  3. Don M. Winn says:

    I hope you get positive results. Please let me know how it goes. Public Reading requires a lot of prep work for a dyslexic adult and even more so for a child. To be successful requires a strong desire on the child’s part to want to do it, as well as plenty of encouragement, support and patients. If he is motivated and really wants to do well with public reading then he can over time become good at it.

Comments are closed.