Dyslexia is a kind of learning disability, wherein a child suffers from difficulty in reading and understanding a language. It is caused due to the brain's inability to transform the information received from the eyes and ears into understandable language. Generally, children have no problem in learning or understanding a subject in the primary stages of schooling. They can easily recognize letters and find out the relation between letters and sounds. However, there are some children who find it difficult to spell, or read a word or sentence, and this may mislead a parent to assume their child as dull or intellectually poor.
Dyslexia has been diagnosed in highly-intelligent children as well. A German ophthalmologist Rudolf Berlin first used the term "dyslexia" in the year 1887, while diagnosing a child. The child was affected by a learning disability in spite of displaying talent in other respective fields. Presently, dyslexia is a recognized disorder, and if identified at the initial stage, one can find out ways to address this learning disability and improve his/her language skills
Dyslexia can be identified from many signs that a kid shows before or after being admitted in school. The following symptoms may help you identify this condition in a child:
- Starts talking late unlike other children
- Difficulty in rhyming
- Inability to recognize letters
- Poor reading ability
- Inability to understand what he/she hears and act accordingly
- Difficulty in recognizing reversals of letters such as 'b' and 'd', reversal of words such as 'saw' as 'was', 'no' as 'on', etc.
- Failure to notice and hear the similarities and differences, in letters and words
- Confusion between directional words such as up, down, in, and out
- Inability to dress properly such as wearing shoes correctly, tying shoelaces, etc.
- Inability to catch, kick, or throw a ball
- Difficulty in remembering tables, alphabets, and formulas
- Poor sense of direction like left and right
The best way to treat an affected child is to educate oneself about the symptoms. The treatment at an early stage can help improve the child's learning abilities. Special education plays a vital role in helping a dyslexic child overcome the learning disabilities. With the help of an individualized education program (IEP) one can detect specific disabilities and implement appropriate teaching methods to improve the academic performance of a child. The treatment includes guided-oral reading, where the child reads aloud under the guidance of the teacher or trainer.
Parents may use the following guidelines to treat a dyslexic child:
- Talk with the child to improve his/her communication skills.
- Tell stories to help the child overcome understanding difficulties.
- Play games that involve physical skills such as football, skipping, hopping, and jumping. This will enhance the motor skills.
- Play memory games to help the child remember the alphabets.
- Teach the dyslexic child to point to the words while reading. This will help the child understand the words.
- Play rhyming games and sing songs that emphasize alliterations and rhyme. This will help the child understand the rhyming words.
- Play word games to teach the similarities between reversal words and sound of letters. This will help the child to learn the phonemes with amusement.
- Praise the child at every step of improvement that he/she shows and avoid criticism at mistakes. This will boost the child's self-confidence.
- Communicate with the school teachers to determine what provisions the school undertakes to help the dyslexic child. This will help keep a check on the child's progress.
- Make a timetable for every activity. This will help the child overcome time-management difficulties.
- Provide a dry-erase board and color pencils to the child. This will help the child to mark his/her mistakes and make appropriate corrections.
Dyslexic children need love, affection, and proper care from their parents. Parents should realize the limitations of a dyslexic ward and should help him/her to excel in other areas of interest.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.