Dyslexia is the common learning difficulty that causes problems with reading, writing and spelling. It is a specific difficulty which causes problem with certain abilities used for learning. It does not affect the individual’s intelligence.It is estimated that 1 in every 5 children in a class could have signs of dyslexia. Signs of dyslexia can be long life, but with early diagnosis and intervention, the challenges in reading writing and spelling can be helped and the individual helped to be successful at school and in life.
• Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Includes difficulty staying focused and paying attention, controlling behavior and hyperactivity
• Dysgraphia: Affects the handwriting ability and fine motor skills.
• Dyscalculia: affects a person’s ability to understand numbers and learn math fact.
• Tourette Syndrome (TS) It is a condition of the nervous system. T TS causes people to have ‘tic’s. The person makes sudden uncontrollable twitches, movement, or sounds repeatedly. The person cannot stop their body from doing the sudden movements, sounds, twitches. It affects learning because one is not able to concentrate or even write without twitching. The more they become anxious, the more the ‘tics’.
• Non-verbal learning disabilities: Has trouble interpreting nonverbal cues like facial expressions or body language and may have poor coordination.
• Oral/written language disorder and specific reading comprehension Deficit: Affect an individual’s understanding or what they read or of spoken language. The ability to express one’s self with oral language may also be impacted.
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is the common learning difficulty that causes problems with reading, writing and spelling. It is a specific difficulty which causes problem with certain abilities used for learning. It does not affect the individual’s intelligence.
It is estimated that 1 in every 5 children in a class could have signs of dyslexia.
Signs of dyslexia can be long life, but with early diagnosis and intervention, the challenges in reading writing and spelling can be helped and the individual helped to be successful at school and in life.
• Loses place on the page, skips lines, or rereads lines.
• Reads words in the wrong order.
• Skips small words such as a, the, to, of, were,
• and from.
• Recognizes a word on one page but not on the
• Inserts extra letters in a word when reading.
• For example, may read tail as trail. The misread
• word often has the same beginning and ending
• letters as the target word. Deletes letters in a word when reading example, may read sag instead of sang.
• Again, the misread word often has the same beginning and ending letters as the target word.
• Switches the order of letters in a word. For example, may read mug as gum.
• Ignores punctuation when reading.
• Makes up part of the story based on the illustrations or context clues instead of reading the actual words on the page.
• Reads at a level substantially below that of peers.
• Demonstrates poor reading comprehension.
• Has difficulty reading single words on a flashcard.
• Is fatigued after reading for a short time
• Claim stomach pain when reading
• Inserts extra letters in a word when spelling. For example, may write tail as trail. The misspelled word often has the same beginning and ending letters as the target word.
• Deletes letters in a word when spelling. For example, may write caft instead of craft. Again, the misspelled word often has the same beginning and ending letters as the target word.
• Switches the order of letters in a word. For example, may write special instead of special.
• Has difficulty copying words from another paper or the board. Copies letter by letter, referring to the original copy for almost every letter.
• Produces messy papers, including many crossed-out or erased words.
• Misspells many common words like said, there, and does.
• May be able to spell the words on a spelling test after much studying, but then misspells the same words outside of spelling class.
Some Typical spelling mistakes
• Spelling words as they sound e.g. wont instead of want
• Mixing up the sequence of letters – e.g. hlep instead of help
• Reversing the sequence of letters – e.g. was instead of saw
• Missing out a letter e.g. wich instead of which
• Using the wrong letter e.g. showt instead of shout
• Adding an extra letter e.g. whent instead of went
• Using a ‘t ’ instead of ‘ed’ e.g. lookt instead of looked
• Can’t remember when to use ‘ck’ or ‘ke’ at the end e.g. lick instead of like
Many dyslexics also have dysgraphia, which is a developmental disability that makes it difficult to master handwriting. Dysgraphia can be related in part to sequencing difficulties and in part to fine-motor control.
some of the symptoms of dysgraphia:
• Writes slowly and laboriously.
• Creates irregularly shaped letters.
• Grips a pencil improperly.
• Does not establish a dominant hand until later than peers.
• May switch from right to left hand while writing or coloring until after age 7 or 8.
• May write letters in the wrong direction. For example, instead of writing an o in a counterclockwise direction, may write it in a clockwise direction. Instead of starting the letter l at the top, child may start the letter from the bottom.
• Improperly uses uppercase and lowercase letters.
• Confuses letters with a similar shape, especially the pairs b-d, m-w, and n-u.
• Poorly spaces letters, words, and sentences. Handwriting looks “childlike” even into the teen years.
Short-term memory processing deficit/working memory
Short-term or working memory impacts all stages of learning. Individuals with dyslexia, working memory deficits make it difficulty to synthesize information while reading. When reading, the working memory holds information long enough to put a sentence together and comprehend the text. However, in case of a child with dyslexia, the working memory is overwhelmed and is not able to hold the information long enough. Also, short-term memory deficit affects the child’s ability to take multiple instructions.
A child with short-term memory problems will have difficulty learning the alphabets and struggle to associate phonemes with those letters,
Motor skill deficit
In learning, deficit in motor skills will affect writing as it is difficulty to hold a pencil/pen to write or even draw.
Difficulty processing the basic sounds of language (phonemes). The sound of letters and groups of letters resulting in very slow and labored reading
PSYCHOLOGICAL DIFFICULTIES IN CHILDREN WITH DYSLEXIA
Due to the hidden nature of dyslexia, affected children have psychological challenges e.g.
Children with dyslexia struggle more in school because teachers and parents/guardians do not understand them. Confused with and/or labeled as ‘slow learners’, they suffer stigma, and neglected by teachers in class. Due to lack of any visible disability, they are thought to be lazy, stupid, and not trying hard. As a result, they suffer low self-esteem which can lead to depression, school dropout and sometimes suicidal tendencies.
Our Stories for Educators
Edited By Shawn Anthony Robinson
In today’s educational space, no student who struggles with reading should be denied a fair and equal education just because teachers are not trained to understand the implications of dyslexia. Failing to learn to read is not failing to learn. It merely means that the orthodox methods of whole-language reading instruction have not favored those students who need specific multisensory instruction.
In Narratives from Mothers of Children with Dyslexia: Our Stories for Educators, mothers share personal stories of pain in navigating educational spaces for the success of their sons and daughters who are dyslexic. Despite resistance from within the PreK–12 academy, these mothers have become warriors for education.
The narratives in this text are global ones, from Singapore, India, Kenya, Spain, Great Britain, and the United States, and are in local “dialect.” The mothers use a variety of terms to describe their experiences, but the differences in language only prove that the language of experience is universal; we can understand everyone, even if they use different terms or names. We understand what they have learned through the challenges and struggles of serving as the backbone of their child’s education. We can easily translate that experience into the global, universal expression of a parent’s love for their child.