|Posted by Sobia Ali on March 25, 2015 at 12:10 PM|
About time we focused on dyslexia...
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a specific difficulty ' learning one or more of the Basic literary skills including reading, spelling and writing. In addition, a dyslexic child may have problems with number work, short-term memory, putting things in sequence and knowing the difference between right and left. He/she may see objects/words and hear sounds differently. Dyslexia can also affect physical coordination, making it difficult for a child to dress him/herself, catch or kick a ball, and hop and skip. They may also be clumsy or accident-prone. Dyslexia occurs despite normal teaching and is independent of socioeconomic background or intelligence. It is, however, more easily detected in those with average or above average intelligence. Although there is no cure for dyslexia or any way of preventing it occurring, there are well-tested teaching methods that will enable a child to overcome his/her specific difficulties.
What Causes Dyslexia?
No one knows for certain...
Experts do not know precisely what causes Dyslexia or Learning Difficulties. Learning difficulties are presumed to be disorders of the central nervous system, and a variety of factors may contribute to their occurrence. Learning difficulties may be due to:
- Problems during pregnancy and birth
- Incidents after birth
Often there does not appear to be a specific cause for many learning difficulties. However, research has shown that, in some dyslexic children the right side of the brain - which affects creativity, originality, 3-dimension functions, spatial awareness and intuition - is more developed, and the left side - which deals mainly with processing language and speech - is weaker, hence causing learning difficulties.
This can result in dyslexic children being exceptionally bright and intelligent but without the learning skills to develop to their full potential.
What does the child say?
Young children are very perceptive about themselves and very often the things which they say can alert adults to certain difficulties, provided that the adult is wise enough to listen and learn, for example:
- I think God has put my brain in upside down;
- The word is coming;
- I am getting close;
- The word is near the front of my mouth;
- What is the beginning of the book?
- Where does the book start?
- This book is stupid;
- What is at the top of the page?
- Which way does it go?
- I`ve dropped it again;
- What`s that word again?
In many ways the dyslexic child is at a disadvantage when he enters school. His main strengths are centered in the right hemisphere of the brain. Hence, he is often a random, intuitive, impulsive, sensitive thinker. Unfortunately for him, school is a left hemisphere environment where he will be expected to read, write, spell, deal with symbols - letters, numbers, musical notation - learn phonics, follow instructions, listen carefully, respond accurately to what he hears and put things in order. The earlier he is given activities which will build a sound foundation for learning such skills, the better chance he will have of succeeding in school.
Note: The period between 3 and 7 years is the most important time for learning.
Signs of Dyslexia
A potential dyslexic is likely to experience some of the following symptoms:
- Lack of awareness of sounds in words - sound order, rhymes, or sequence of syllables.
- Difficulty in decoding words - single word identification.
- Difficulty in encoding words - spelling.
- Poor sequencing of numbers, of letters in words, when read or written, e.g. b-d; sing-sign; left-felt; soiled-solid; 12-21.
- Problems with reading comprehension.
- Difficulty in expressing thoughts in written form.
- Delayed spoken language.
- Imprecise or incomplete interpretation of language that is heard.
- Difficulty in expressing thoughts orally.
- Confusion about directions in space or time (right and left, up and down, early and late, yesterday and tomorrow, months and days) .
- Confusion about right and left handedness
- Similar problems among relatives.
- Difficulty with writing.
- Difficulty in mathematics - often related to sequencing of steps or directionality or the language of mathematics.
- Difficulty in getting dressed on his/her own.
- Difficulty with buttons and shoe laces.
Important Note: This checklist is a guidepost for parents and professionals. It should not be used in isolation, but may lead the parent/professional to seek further assessment. A consistent showing of a group of the above listed behaviors should be considered an indication to seek further advice, observation or assessment. Many very young children make similar mistakes to dyslexic children. It is the severity of the trait, the clarity with which it may be observed, and the length of time during which it persists which give the vital clues to the identification of the dyslexic learner.
How YOU can help your child :
- Don't become over anxious about your child's progress or push him/her to improve.
- Talk to your child as much as you can, so he/she becomes familiar with language.
- Sing nursery rhymes to get him/her used to sounds, rhythm and gesture.
- Use toys as a teaching aid to show right from left, up and down, and to develop co-ordination skills.
- Read books together as soon as he/she shows awareness.
- Use books on tape to help a child with reading problems.
- Try to be organized in your daily activity.
- Talk with your child about whatever is going on.
- Help your child gain confidence by building up his/her self-image instead of criticizing if they get things wrong or seem clumsy.
A VICIOUS cycle:
1. A child scores Poorly on a spelling test The child studied hard, but just couldn't remember the letters.
2. The PARENTS GET WORRIED. They tell the child, he/she will have to study longer and harder until the words are learnt even if it means no playing after school.
3. The chiId TRIES AGAIN. He/she knows how to say the material but still can't write it and fails the test again.
4. The parents get ANGRY and blame the child. They may threaten punishment, accuse the child of being stupid, etc.
5. The child may just 'give up'. No matter how hard he/she tries, the child just can't succeed, so why bother?
6. From then on the child is convinced that failure is his/her fault. The child expects to fail and does. To compensate, he/she may become withdrawn or overly aggressive.
But... PARENTS can help BREAK the cycle.
** The information provided herein should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.**
(Information courtesy: READyslexics (Pvt.) Ltd.)
Categories: Discuss Dyslexia