Dyslexia

This is a learning difficulty that affects reading, spelling and written language. Although dyslexia particularly affects a child’s mastery of written symbols – letters, numbers and musical notation – he may have difficulties with spoken language too. Dyslexia is a specific neurological disorder, and is not the result of poor hearing or vision, or low intelligence.

One in 20 children is dyslexic.

Many bright children are dyslexic and the condition is often diagnosed earlier in these children since parents become aware of the gap between their child’s obvious intelligence and his level of achievement in specific areas. The main symptom of dyslexia is difficulty in reading and writing. Your child may have problems perceiving letters in the correct order, or he may confuse similarly shaped letters such as b and d, and p and q.

Labelling a child dyslexic if he is not is just as harmful as failing to recognize it if he is. A correct diagnosis can only be made by an expert.

Here are some points that may help you spot dyslexia in your child:

  • Poor spelling and poor coordination.
  • Difficulty in remembering lists of words, numbers or letters.
  • Difficulty in remembering the order of things, such as days of the week.
  • Problems telling left from right.
  • Jumbled phrases such as “tebby dare” and difficulty learning nursery rhymes.

These may also occur in children who do not have dyslexia. The difference is that dysexic children suffer more severe symptoms and they won’t grow out of them.

As well as having problems with literacy, dyslexic children also have problems with distinguishing sounds, and with memory. If there is associated dyspraxia, they will have balance problems too.

A dyslexic child’s strengths are likely to be sensitivity, intuition and impulsiveness. Skills associated with the left brain such as dealing with symbols responding to instructions, and putting things in order, are weak in dyslexic children. Some of them are very creative, and have an aptitude for drawing and painting.

If dyslexia is not diagnosed until a child’s seven or eight, he’ll have a lot of catching up to do. You can do three things to help your dyslexic child at home.

First, and this is sometimes overlooked, acknowledge that your child is dyslexic.
Second, be supportive and positive, especially if your child is having problems at school.
Third, play lots of learning games with your child.

If your child is at school, and is lagging behind other children, his self-confidence may ne low, and it is very important that you make him feel successful at home. Do not show any impatience. Encourage him to do the things that he is good at, and help him do things for himself. Give him self-help aids, such as left and right stickers on his bicycle, and if he finds a particular task difficult tell him to slow down.

Playing games with letters, words, and sounds can also be very useful.

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3 Comments »

  1. […] the possibility of dyslexic, or gifted. If his behaviour has started recently, has he expereinced a traumatic event? Does he […]

  2. […] is rarer than dyslexia but shares many of the same features. The child’s core problem is in handling numbers and […]


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