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Friday, March 7, 2008

Dealing with Dyslexia

The term dyslexia was first introduced in 1884 by a German opthalmologist, R Berlin, who coined it from the Greek words "Dys" meaning ill or difficult , and "Lexis" meaning word.

Dyslexia is a common neurologically based, specific learning difficulty that is characterised by difficulties in one or more of the reading, spelling and writing discplines.

Recognising Dyslexia in your child

Parents need to watch out for one or more of the following seven examples fo difficulty, as they are typical symptoms of dyslexia:

1. Directional Confusion
Your child "Mirror" writes by reversing letters, whole words or numbers. For example, instead of writing "boy" he writes "doy"

2. Squencing Difficulties
Your child may omit letters, or put letters, syllables and words in the wrong order. Some examples, "act" for "cat", "there are" for "are there" and "wet" for "went".

3. Difficulty with the Little words
Your child misreads, reads twice or omits words like "a", "the" and "from".

4. Late Talking
According to Dr. Beve Hornsby, author of "Overcoming Dyslexia", about 60% of dyslexics are late talkers. You should be concerned if your child talks immaturely, or continues to make unexpected grammatical errors in his speech for his age.

5. Difficulties with Handwritting
Your child's handwritting is generally illegible, with letter inconsistencies, a mixture of upper/lowercase letters, irregular letter sizes and shapes, etc.

6. Difficulties with Maths
Your child revers or transposes numbers, is confused by similar looking mathematical signs (+ and X; > and <, etc) or has problem with mental arithmetic, times tables and time telling.

7. Short working memory
Your child forgets easily and thus needs to be frequently reminded to do things.

Do note that each dyslexic child is different and thus it's difficult to find them all having the same or uniform difficulties. However, the most obvious are difficulties with spelling, reading and writing.

Helping your child overcome Dyslexia

Although there is no cure for dyslexia, the learning problems it causes can be largely overcome through skilled specialist teaching and compensatory strategies.

Teaching dyslexia is a specialist procedure entailing a lot of variable techniques far beyond the capacity of parents.

So how can a parent help? Parents must ensure that the child is helped to appreciate that his self value and self esteem should not suffer because he is dyslexic. Thus a parent should not give a negative or uninspiring response such as " You are stupid or incompetent" etc.

For effective learning to take place, parents should provide a positive and rewarding environment. You could give little rewards such as star stickers etc. for targets achieved such as an improvement in his spelling.

It is important for the parent to praise his child for all his effort and to console him if he doesn't do well or live up to expectations.

It is also important for the parent to inform the child's teacher of his difficulties so that the teacher would be understanding of his problem and not berate or embarrass him for his weakness.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Mee mOe said...

older adults, such as myself, have this as well...so does my oldest daughter and she is 25. She has a great job but still deals with this Dyslexia...

March 8, 2008 at 12:32 AM  
Blogger Mee mOe said...

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March 15, 2008 at 1:02 AM  
Blogger Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

My daughter is 7 and is dyslexic. One thing I heard that could be helpful for this type of learning disability is playing classical music in the background while they are working.
We also put the alphabet letters in print and cursive attached to her desk so she can check her letters herself.
When we first started struggling in this department, she would get extremely frustrated with herself. She didn't like that her sister was always done first and didn't make as many mistakes.
I decided to talk to her and explain what dyslexia is and that it actually is a sign of intelligence. I told her that she will have to work extra hard and she shouldn't get frustrated.
After that talk, things have gone so much smoother. Now, she doesn't think she is stupid. She just has to do things a little differently.

April 3, 2008 at 2:11 AM  

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