Dear! Before you start to read, this may not concern you. If it does not, it’s better ignored. Are you a teacher, an educator, a medic, psychologist, parent or potential parent? Oh! You are one of those? You may go ahead now.
Dyslexia is a physical condition that contributes to learning difficulty. It refers to the inability to read. Simply put, it is an unexpected and substantial difficulty in learning to read. It is majorly characterized by confusion of letters (e.g. d and b or p and q) and word decode trouble. You remember Ishaan Awashthi in the popular Bollywood “like stars on earth”? You know dyslexia!
It will be laudable to know some things about this language disorder. Hence, let’s look at its characteristics, how to diagnose a student/kid, certain facts about the disorder and of course remedies or management tips.
The following are common features expressed by students/kids who are dyslexic. Though, having one or two of them may not mean that your student, kid or client suffers from dyslexia. However be sure a combination of some of these symptoms is likely to be dyslexia. We will be taking 10 of the many symptoms;
- Visual difficulty: dubbed “word blindness”. A child may be seeing letters in reverse or upside down. Say, a child reading “cow” as “com”.
- Difficulty in word-sound association.
- Unclear speech
- Always falling behind in class especially in reading skills
- Frustration and low esteem
- High I.Q but low test score
- Frequent Daydreaming
- Reading slowly and getting tired reading
- Omitting words and ignoring punctuation while writing
- Low comprehension when he/she is trying to read.
When your child, student or client is finding learning strenuous, do not conclude “oh! Dyslexia”, you will need to make some diagnosis. Oh no! That is not a medical test or some laboratory procedures, it’s merely following the under listed steps;
- Rule out other learning problems such as; low intelligence, absence from school or hearing or visual problem.
- Put such kid on intensive tutorial; he/she may only be having problem comprehending what’s taught in class
- Check child’s ability to identify phonemes (g. differentiate between bag and bad)
- You should observe/test the child on some of the characteristics of dyslexia
Remedies/ Management tips
Now, you have discovered your precious is dyslexic, keep calm; it is not a kind of mental disability and impairments. It can be managed and a kid who has it may do quite like the smart kid you expected him to be. In any case, you got help the kid to be fine:
- Put the child under intensive tutorial. As a parent, you may employ a good private teacher and if you are a teacher, you can help your students in his/her free periods or better still, advise the parents on the former.
- Eschew comparing such child’s performances with others’, don’t query his test scores.
- Praise him for whatever good he does, especially the unique things he/she may display.
- Identify the child’s talent and train him with it. Say, the child cooks well, you may make him make list of recipe and in a case of a child who loves painting, try make him paint words.
- Use pictures, audio and audio-visual devices to teach such child.
- You may also augment the child’s I.T skills
- Dyslexic kids learn well with demonstrations, experimentation and of course visual aids. Use these methods effectively and trust me! There you go making him/her feel good.
- You may also employ the service of an educational consultant.
“If children can’t learn the way we teach, then we have to teach the way they learn”
– Robert Buck
Facts about dyslexia
- It cannot be cured nor could one outgrow it but it can be managed
- Some great persons in the world are dyslexic
- About 2% of the world is dyslexic
- Dyslexia ≠ low I.Q
- Children with dyslexia can also understand complex idea
- People with dyslexia are usually creative(as expected they are quick to get interested in other things aside studies)
- Asides graduating from universities, dyslexics can also outshine others in different disciplines
- A child with dyslexia can be happy and successful too
Excerpt of a lecture delivered by Oyelami Siddiq Ifeoluwa @ NYSC Suleja LGA Mass Literacy Club CDS meeting on Thursday, 10th March, 2016.
 Suffering from dyslexia