Sunaina is very good at singing and painting, but not able to copy her homework from the blackboard.
Sameer dreads the school after the summer vacations. He cannot spell the words and forgets whatever he had learnt the day before. He is not able to differentiate between b and d. He also mixes up c for s and p for q.
Neena is not sure about directions. Many times she writes backwards. Spellings and math are a nightmare for her.
All these children are suffering from dyslexia. Such children struggle in schools and educational institutions, but they may have strengths in fine arts, humanities etc. Their problem in reading is not the result of emotional problems, lack of motivation, poor teaching, mental retardation, or vision or hearing deficits.
It is important to understand that when a dyslexic person sees letters or words reversed or mixed up, there is usually nothing wrong with their eyes. The problem is in the way their mind interprets what their eyes see – like an optical illusion.
Dyslexia is a persistent, lifelong condition. There’s no cure for it, but there are ways to approach learning and be successful.
Encourage & build confidence
Although children with dyslexia have language processing and learning difficulties, the symptoms and severity can be quite different in different children. Dyslexics learn some academic skills at a level lower than others their age, but they can do other things quite well. They may be talented in the arts, skilled in technology, or adept with spatial relationships. These strengths and talents need to be encouraged and reinforced.
Show inspiring role models
Since dyslexia is often a self- compensating disorder that can often be overcome with time, effort and understanding, it is crucial to provide dyslexics with success stories of well known individuals like Einstein and Da Vinci, so that they don’t give up and continue to persevere. Successful dyslexics learned to overcome or sidestep their barriers, to accomplish their dreams and desires. Their successful lives, despite dyslexia, show that ‘miracles’ can be accomplished so long as loving parents and caring teachers
encourage dyslexics, to believe in themselves.
Help teachers to teach
Copying homework from the board is a daily problem for dyslexic children in school, and a regular nightmare for parents. Teachers need to understand the special needs of these children and must give them adequate time (avoid last minute writing of homework on the board). They also must verbally read out the homework slowly to the children. A multi-sensory approach is known to be effective, for example, using Scotch tape to make numbers and letters on the rug or on the floor. The physical act of creating a number with the tape helps to jog the memory every time the child would have to write it on paper.
Choose the right school
If you suspect that your child is potentially dyslexic at a very young age, then you should find out more about how dyslexic children think and learn best. Understanding your child’s learning style will help you in choosing pre-school and school settings that are geared toward his need.