Five Steps to Boost a Young Dyslexic’s Self-Confidence

Wonderful to welcome guest blogger Cigdem Knebal to the blog this week who has contributed this great 5 step guide to boosting a young dyslexic's self confidence.
Click here to go to her website.
Cigdem Knebel - Founder of Simple Word Books

Cigdem writes...

Dyslexia causes difficulty in learning to read. This hidden reading disability denies many children the opportunity to discover the joys of reading. As their peers’ ability to read grows, their efforts end up with frustration, pain and tears. Many parents cannot even imagine their children reading for fun one day.
Although many dyslexics learn to cope with reading struggles throughout their educational life, the biggest lingering impact is the life-long stains on the self-confidence that affects these individuals negatively throughout their adulthood.
Here are five steps for parents and educators to proactively attack this challenge and strengthen the self-esteem at an early age: 

  1. Early Diagnosis: As many things in life, challenges are easier to resolve while they are small and contained. Watch out for the early signs of dyslexia and get children tested if needed.
  2. Build on Strengths: If there is a positive diagnosis, understand their strengths and weaknesses. While working on improving the weaknesses, such as reading, writing and spelling, never lose focus on their strengths. Core strengths are the strongest path to building self-confidence. They come naturally and flourish more easily.
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  3. Positive Reinforcement: Praise children’s efforts, not the sole results. Building reading, writing and spelling skills will likely be a lengthy journey and focusing on results may dishearten all involved.
  4. Celebrate Your Child: Encourage children to explore their passions. Arts, sports, design are all creative ways to tap into their natural potential. Learning happens easier when the brain is engaged and they feel empowered.
  5. Right tools: As Albert Einstein, a famous dyslexic, says: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Give children the right books to read. Low-level/high-context books are the best for early readers and young dyslexics. Such books will bring fewer struggles and tears to the whole reading experience.
Cigdem Kebel

Who is Cigdem?

When Cigdem Knebel struggled to find high interest, low readability chapter books a young dyslexic could painlessly read, she began to write one herself for her 7 year old son. Cigdem is the founder of Simple Words Books. Her mission is to help young dyslexics and early readers with fluency, comprehension, but most importantly, self-confidence. She accomplishes this by using many carefully chosen words in her books with the skills of young dyslexics in mind. Her books focus on using:
• short and one syllable words,
• closed syllables words,
• Dolch Sight Words,
• short sentences.

Cigdem believes that all children love to read. This is no different for children with dyslexia; they just need to find that right book for them.

Her first book, Sam Is Stuck, is expecting to be that book for many children with dyslexia. It is a hybrid of Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss and Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel. It fills the void in the market for low level high content chapter books.

Some other info about Simple Words Books:
Check out Simple Words Books at and Join READlexia Book Club for FREE to receive FREE:
- Sam Is Stuck: Writing Practice Study Workbook -  FREE on the website.