Friday, 23 October 2015

Understanding Dyslexia in Children:Teachers


What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia in children is the commonest cause of learning difficulties. The word comes from the Greek meaning 'difficulty with words'. The condition is often referred to as a 'specific learning difficulty', usually with symptoms such as difficulty with writing and spelling, and sometimes with reading and working with numbers. It is caused by impairment in the brain's ability to translate images received from the eyes or ears into understandable language.


How do you as a Teacher Observe Children With Dyslexia?

As a teacher if you notice that a child who appears to be average or bright when they are talking to you is struggling to read, spell or cope with math/s, this may be the strongest indicator that they may be dyslexic. It is very common for dyslexic children to be quite able, especially in the areas of creativity (art, drama, drawing, etc.) and physical co-ordination (physical education, swimming, sports, model-making, etc.). However, there are differences in the neural links in their brain that makes it hard for them to deal with text (and often with numbers) without extra support.



A list of possible dyslexia symptoms would include some, but not all, of these in a dyslexic child:

  • A noticeable difference between the pupil's ability and their actual achievement;

  • A family history of learning difficulties;          

  • Difficulties with spelling;

  • Confusion over left and right;     

  • Writing letters or numbers backwards;

  • Difficulties with math/s;

  • Difficulties with organizing themselves;

  • Difficulties following two or three step instructions.

Types of Dyslexia.

Dyslexia may affect several different functions. Visual dyslexia is characterized by number and letter reversals and the inability to write symbols in the correct sequence. Auditory dyslexia involves difficulty with sounds of letters or groups of letters. The sounds are perceived as jumbled or not heard correctly. 

Children with dyslexia and reading disabilities may receive extra help at school, but there are ways parents can help at home as well.


How Can a Teacher/Parent Help Children with Dyslexia?
Reading is essential to success in school but children with dyslexia often read slowly, lacking fluency. Reading together every day is important. As children get older, parents can read for a portion of the time and let the child read for the balance of reading time. Find books that are challenging and interesting, yet do not introduce too many new words to help develop independent reading

Class teachers need to have an understanding of the problems that the dyslexic child may have within the classroom situation. Equipped with this knowledge, a great deal of misunderstanding of a child's behaviour can be prevented. In a positive and encouraging environment, a dyslexic child experiences the feeling of success and self-value. Teachers dealing with dyslexic children are flexible in their approach, so that they can, find a method that suits the pupil, rather than expecting that all pupils will learn in the same way. Above all, there must be an understanding from all who teach them, that they may have many talents and skills. Their abilities must not be measured purely on the basis of their difficulties in acquiring literacy skills. Dyslexic children, like all children, thrive on challenges and success.


Rupa Chauhan



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