Most of us weren’t aware about this disorder until we saw the movie Taare Zameen Par. This awe-inspiring movie has taught us many lessons. If a child is not doing well academically, it does not always mean he doesn’t want to study. The case might be completely different from what we as parents and teachers understand. Dyslexia is one such disorder where children face difficulty in reading and writing. One must be aware about the warning signs and indicators of dyslexia in order to take necessary measures at the correct time. Our post discusses various aspects about dyslexia, its causes, signs and symptoms, the care and management aspects and more.
Read ahead to know more about this learning disability called Dyslexia.
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is defined as an unexpected difficulty in learning to read and write. A dyslexic person is unable to read quickly and comprehensively. However, this doesn’t hamper their genius nature, creativity and, ingenuity. It was originally called as reading blindness.
Approximately 15-20% of the population has dyslexia with language related learning disability. Men and women have the same probability to have dyslexia. Dyslexia and ADHD are statistically related. About 25-40% of children with dyslexia also have ADHD and on the other hand 25% of children with ADHD also have dyslexia.
Causes of Dyslexia
Dyslexia is a genetic disorder that tends to run in families. Various risk factors of this condition are listed below:
- Family history of learning disability
- Low birth weight
- Premature birth
- Exposure to drugs, alcohol or infection during pregnancy that might have affected the brain development of fetus
Signs Of Dyslexia
Signs of dyslexia are usually evident since early childhood. However, it becomes more obvious once children start schooling and being to read and write. Signs of dyslexia in adults are more or less the same as the signs of dyslexia in 5-year-old child. We have compiled some common traits and behaviours of a dyslexic person. These will help you identify if your child is at risk. These characters may vary every now and then. The most consistent trait of dyslexics is their inconsistent behaviour.
- Daydreaming – One might seem to be zoned out or daydreaming very often. Such people lose track of time and get distracted very easily.
- Behavioural problems – Kids might show behavioural issues and have low self-esteem.
- Talented – They are very talented but show poor performance academically. They portray their creativity and talent in the fields of art, drama, sports, music, sales, marketing, business, building, engineering, etc.
- Problems With Reading – Phonological awareness in dyslexics is very less. They cannot recognize individual sounds and create new words. Dyslexics confuse with vowels. They have a difficult time with rhyming words and blend sounds too.
- Dyslexics struggle to put thoughts into words, stutter under stress, transpose phrases, and mispronounce certain words and syllables while speaking.
- Transposing – number or letter reversing is commonly found.
- Spelling mistakes – Their spelling mistakes are never consistent.
- Eg. wont instead of want, wich instead of which, hlep instead of help and more.
- Complaints of headaches or stomach ache frequently, especially while reading.
Confusion of left and right
- Many of them complain of seeing some non-existent movement in the book while reading or writing. Pages of the book might appear hazy or out of focus.
- Difficulty remembering times tables and number sequences are a sure sign of dyslexia.
- Writing problems – Dyslexic people write long, rambling sentences without punctuations. They cannot pen down their thoughts. They have poor motor skills and thus find problems in gripping writing tools like pens, pencils, etc.
- Difficulty counting – Knows finger counting but can’t do on paper. Has difficulties with counting money and objects. Algebra and higher Math is a no no for them.
- Extended hearing – They can hear things not said and get easily sidetracked by sounds.
- Time management – It’s a big issue.
- Memory and Cognition – Poor memory for facts and information not personally experienced. Relates to images but not sounds. They have excellent memory for locations, experiences, and faces.
- Embarrassed by grades
- Homophones – Cannot differentiate between homophones.
Dyslexia is many things but its ‘definitely NOT:
- Found only in children
- Found only in people who read and speak English
- Caused by bad parenting
- Being confused
- Being lazy, stupid or unmotivated
- About getting mixed up with numbers and letters
- Something that people grow out of
Dyslexia Self Test
There are various health web pages who offer Dyslexia Self Test to check whether you or your child is dyslexic. Consult the doctor for more assistance and treatment.
Treatment for dyslexia has many different aspects that should be discussed with the doctors. We as parents and teachers also play an important role in the society to help children and fellow adults deal with this condition easily.
There is no way that we can cure the underlying brain defect that causes this disorder. Dyslexia is indeed a lifelong problem! However, early detection can help focus on treatment in a better way.
These are some points we should focus on helping the child with dyslexic symptoms:
- Address learning issues if any as early as possible. Don’t stay under the false impression that your child is dumb and getting away from studies. He/she might be dyslexic.
- Help child recognize smallest sounds or phonemes that make up words.
- Read aloud to them to build reading accuracy, fluency and speed. Reading stories together with your munchkin is a good idea.
- Listen carefully and comprehend what your child is reading. Make note of errors and correct appropriately.
- Try to build vocabulary with the words they understand or recognize.
- Encourage kids to read more and more.
- Work out a plan with teachers at school. They are the ones who will also help them succeed.
- Most importantly be supportive. Trouble with learning may hamper child’s self-esteem. Encourage your angel by praising his talents and abilities rather than pointing out faults.
Hope you might have got a fair idea about dyslexia and how one can deal with kids at risk of dyslexia. Make note of these traits but remember no two dyslexics are the same.
She is pharmacist by education and working in field of medical content development for more than 8 years. She has execllent hold on medical content research and development and has produce valuable data for various pharmaceutical companies.