Dyslexia and Reward Systems

A dyslexia tutor is sometimes asked by parents if a reward system can help motivate their dyslexic child. Since reading and spelling can be very difficult for dyslexics, rewarding them for working hard at dyslexia tutoring can sometimes give them an extra boost. A reward system for dyslexia tutoring can be set up in many different ways, and the important thing is finding one that works well for the child.

If you are able to make the reward something constructive for the child, that is all the better. For example, if the child has a certain amount of good dyslexia tutoring sessions, you can bring them to a bookstore and let them choose a book. In this way, you are rewarding them, and helping their reading by encouraging their interest in books. Another great reward can be going out to eat, or going out for ice cream. Does your dyslexic child have a favorite restaurant or ice cream shop? You can let them know that you will take them there after a certain amount good tutoring sessions.

When using a reward system for dyslexia tutoring, another issue arises, and that is how to judge the child’s efforts. For dyslexia tutors, this is usually fairly easy to judge; however, it needs to be reported in a way that is positive and affirming. In my career as a dyslexia tutor, I have found it easiest to simply tell the parents every week, or at the end of every month, how many really good sessions we had. In this way, if a child has a day with a bad attitude, I am not reinforcing it by telling them that they did not make a good effort that day. Certainly, a dyslexia tutor will be able to determine how to best use a reward system with a child.

Pete

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