Father and son read a book together in the park.

Encourage reading in areas of interest

Many successful dyslexics have reported that they became motivated to read when allowed to read in areas of interest. Research has shown that the more one reads, the better one’s reading skills become.

So it is important that dyslexics are encouraged to read as much as possible and one way to get them to do this is by pursuing their interests. Likewise, incorporating interests in therapy activities can be motivating for the individual. Interests can run the gamut—anything from history to sports to auto mechanics to personal biographies—anything really.

One way to assess individual interests is by using a reading interest inventory such as the one below (adapted from Burns, Roe, & Ross, 1992, as cited in Rosalie Fink's 2006 book Why Jane and John Couldn’t Read—And How They Learned).

  • What is the best book that was ever read to you?
  • What is the best book that you ever read yourself?
  • What are your favorite hobbies?
  • What after-school activities do you like best?
  • What are some of your favorite movies?
  • What television programs do you like the most?
  • What are your favorite television specials, videos, DVDs, computer games, and Internet websites?
  • What school subjects do you find most interesting?
  • What pets, sports, or art activities do you like best?
  • If you could take a trip, where would you go?
  • What careers interest you?

Based on the responses to these questions, you can utilize these topics in therapy and help the dyslexic choose texts of interest (e.g., books, magazines, comic books). The research says that reading in areas of interest will motivate them to tackle more difficult text. Reading in areas of interest coupled with your systematic and explicit instruction can be just the right formula for academic success!