WHAT IS DYSLEXIA?
Dyslexia is a learning disability that manifests primarily as a difficulty with written language, particularly with reading and spelling.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Dyslexia symptoms vary according to the severity of the disorder as well as the age of the individual.
With pre-school age children
It is difficult to obtain a certain diagnosis of dyslexia before a child begins school, but many dyslexic individuals have a history of difficulties that began well before kindergarten. Children who exhibit these symptoms have a higher risk of being diagnosed as dyslexic than other children. Some of these symptoms are:
* Delay in learning to speak
* Learns new words slowly
* Has difficulty rhyming words, as in nursery rhymes
* Late in establishing a dominant hand
With Early elementary school-age children
* Difficulty learning the alphabet
* Difficulty with associating sounds with the letters that represent them.
* Difficulty identifying or generating rhyming words, or counting syllables in words
* Difficulty segmenting words into individual sounds, or blending sounds to make words
* Difficulty with word retrieval or naming problems
* Difficulty learning to decode words
* Confusion with before/after, right/left, over/under, and so on
* Difficulty distinguishing between similar sounds in words; mixing up sounds in multisyllable words
With Older elementary school children
* Slow or inaccurate reading
* Very poor spelling
* Difficulty associating individual words with their correct meanings
* Difficulty with time keeping and concept of time
* Difficulty with organization skills
* Due to fear of speaking incorrectly, some children become withdrawn and shy or become bullies out of their inability to understand the social cues in their environment
* Difficulty comprehending rapid instructions, following more than one command at a time or remembering the sequence of things
* Reversals of letters (b for d) and a reversal of words (saw for was) are typical among children who have dyslexia. Reversals are also common for children age 6 and younger who don't have dyslexia. But with dyslexia, the reversals persist.
* Children with dyslexia may fail to see (and occasionally to hear) similarities and differences in letters and words, may not recognize the spacing that organizes letters into separate words, and may be unable to sound out the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word.
WHAT CAUSES DYSLEXIA?
Dyslexia is an inherited condition. Researchers have determined that a gene on the short arm of chromosome is responsible for dyslexia. That gene is dominant, making dyslexia highly heritable. It definitely runs in families.
Dyslexia results from a neurological difference; that is, a brain difference. People with dyslexia have a larger right-hemisphere in their brains than those of normal readers. That may be one reason people with dyslexia often have significant strengths in areas controlled by the right-side of the brain, such as artistic, athletic, and mechanical gifts; 3-D visualization ability; musical talent; creative problem solving skills; and intuitive people skills.
In addition to unique brain architecture, people with dyslexia have unusual "wiring". Neurons are found in unusual places in the brain, and are not as neatly ordered as in non-dyslexic brains.
In addition to unique brain architecture and unusual wiring, studies have shown that people with dyslexia do not use the same part of their brain when reading as other people. Regular readers consistently use the same part of their brain when they read. People with dyslexia do not use that part of their brain, and there appears to be no consistent part used among dyslexic readers.
It is therefore assumed that people with dyslexia are not using the most efficient part of their brain when they read. A different part of their brain has taken over that function.
TREATMENT FOR DYSLEXIA
The multi sensory approach takes the importance away from reading and directs it more towards hearing the material and getting involved with it while learning. For example, for a child to be more fluent read out loud, try letting them listen to the book on tape while following along before reading it out loud by themselves. Younger children can also learn by tracing the letters of the alphabet and saying the sound that the specific letter makes. Then when they get stuck they can think of the shape and connect the sound with the shape. This approach is all about making the right connections in order to avoid the difficulties that comes with dyslexia.
Encouragement is just as important as any other treatment options. If a child/student feels discouraged they are not going to want to eve attempt the treatments. One of the most popular ways to encourage a child is to show them how many successful people have dyslexia. Show them a list of great athletes or writers and name all of them, then, point out that they were all dyslexic. Showing them that they can still be just as successful or even better then people without their disability.
For students that get their “b's” and “d's” mixed up they can use the bed trick. Students take each hand and connect their forefinger and their thumbs together. The left hand forms a b and the right hand forms a d, and if they picture an “e” in the middle. It will spell "bed". Then whenever they get stuck they can think of the "bed" trick and remember what each letter looks like.
LIM SYN YUN