Dyslexia is the most commonly known learning disability, despite which its signs among children often go unnoticed. 17% of people have difficulty in reading and 5%-10% of the population has dyslexia.
Growing children face issues while learning to read. It is reflected in their ability to pronounce words, read fluently, and at a proper pace. However, children are unaware of their conditions and some may be struggling more than we notice. It is essential to identify Dyslexia among children and provide them with learning methods and attention to encourage proper development at home and in classrooms.
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a kind of language-based Learning difficulty that makes it hard for one to read. Dyslexia among kids is manifested in the form of an inability to read and pronounce words properly and at the correct pace.
Decoding letters and words become difficult for children. It also further affects a child’s ability at comprehending words being read, writing, and spelling. Thus, dyslexia impacts one’s language comprehension and reading skills.
This learning difficulty is inborn and continues throughout life, varying at different stages. Toddlers seem to face the most hardships in classes surrounded by peers who perform comparatively better.
However, children with dyslexia have normal intelligence levels. They might even be brighter than others in certain areas. They only require extra support and specifically-aided techniques of teaching to assist with academics.
Identifying this issue among children is the priority to help a child’s everyday learning behaviors. Dyslexia among children is quite commonly mistaken for disinterest and apathy in schoolwork. It can leave children feeling demotivated and averted towards studies. Moreover, comparison with other children can trigger them emotionally.
It is necessary to guide your child in the right way to encourage better learning and coping skills, which can substantially improve their overall capacity with time. Accepting this as a difference in learning and not as a disability is crucial to extend awareness.
What are the causes of Dyslexia?
While there isn’t one particular cause of dyslexia, it may be due to insufficiency in brain development. Genes are also linked to difficulties in reading and processing languages.
Moreover, the neurological functioning of an individual has an important role in deciding one’s ability at comprehension. Premature birth, pregnancy defects, severe illnesses, and injuries can also be causes of Dyslexia. However, the brain is always under construction and can benefit from proper learning techniques.
Diagnosing dyslexia can happen at school or privately with the help of school psychologists and neuropsychologists. A series of tests are conducted to find out the comprehension level and abilities of a child. After diagnosis, personalized remediation is extended to help children with customized tutoring.
Types of Dyslexia
Dyslexia can manifest in various types. It is necessary to distinguish and identify the experiences of your child to provide the most effective teaching techniques.
Types of dyslexia based on learning difficulties:
- Phonological dyslexia –difficulty faced while decoding sounds and relating them to words. Matching sounds to alphabets and symbols and retaining them is a challenge. Phonological is the most prominent type of dyslexia.
- Rapid-naming dyslexia – children with rapid naming dyslexia require a longer time to name colors, numbers, alphabets, and objects. This influences their pace.
- Double deficit dyslexia – this type of dyslexia is a combination of phonological and rapid-naming dyslexia. One has trouble in sound identification and naming words while reading.
- Surface dyslexia – this refers to the lack of properly pronouncing phonetically irregular or sight words. Memorizing such words is also a challenge.
- Visual dyslexia – is when children suffer to remember what they saw/read on a page. This impacts formation, writing, sequencing, and spelling words as they require memorization.
Types based on causes of Dyslexia:
- Primary dyslexia – passed on genetically.
- Secondary dyslexia –disability in brain development in the womb.
- Acquired/trauma dyslexia – occurs due to injury or disease severely affecting the brain.
Signs of dyslexia
There are many signs of dyslexia that can be observed among children:
- Initially delayed speech
- Confusing among alphabets and sounds
- Lack of basic phonemic awareness
- Poor fluency in reading
- Slow reading pace
- Excess usage of filler words
- Difficulty with grammar, spelling, syntax, sentence-formation, punctuation, etc.
- Poor memory of word sounds and meaning
Due to these inabilities, they tend to:
- Avoid reading aloud
- Feel stressed in class
- Avert learning languages
- Have communication gaps
- Have inexpressive speech
- Avoid social interaction
And so on.
Dyslexia is not a disorder, rather a different learning condition that persists life-long. It has no permanent cure but can be improved with proper remediation techniques.
Initial steps at arranging improvement begin with acknowledging the level of learning, reading, and comprehension of the child. Methods must be inclusive of their difference in vocabulary, pace, accuracy, fluency, background knowledge, and WPM (words per minute) rate.
Phonological awareness must be practiced explicitly to arouse automaticity. This comes through providing varying multiple exposures over continuous sessions that encourage brain-training and retention.
The O-G (Orton-Gillingham) approach, multi-sensory methods, before-middle-after sequencing, teaching one-on-one relations to words, etc. are some commonly used techniques.
Children can also benefit from:
- individual teaching sessions
- audio and visual learning
- reading in bigger fonts
- typing over writing
- splitting homework into steps
- extra attention on grammar, syntax, punctuation, pronunciation
Helping children with Dyslexia
Dyslexia can leave children feeling incompetent, fatigued, and in self-doubt in regular classrooms. It is necessary to understand their specific issues and take measures accordingly. There needs to be accommodation and concessions in schools and by the government to ease learning.
Some special concessions include opting out of a second language, extra time during exams, getting scribes, permitting calculators, and extra classes with specialists.
The specialized methods should be reviewed regularly and upgraded gradually. Moreover, children need support and positive reinforcements at all times. Being understanding of their behaviors goes a long way in eliminating anxiety points.
At MANAS Learning, we dedicatedly cater to understanding and nurturing children with learning difficulties. We ensure an incentivizing learning environment through fun and effective ways to teach children.
We are here to assist your child and aim to create more awareness for tackling Dyslexia and promoting development. Do you see signs of reading problems in your child? Take your reading assessment today to find out more. Contact us for counselor’s advice to extend better assistance to your growing children to master reading.