Dyslexia in Kids
Who could forget Ishaan Awasthi from the movie ‘Tare Jamee Par’, the way he portrayed the character of a child suffering from Dyslexia. Thanks to that movie a lot of people (including me) for the first time became aware about this disorder.
Now the question is What is dyslexia ?? A better way to understand is, to find out what it is not. It is not a sign of laziness, carelessness, stupidness or mental subnormal. In simple terms it is a specific learning disability which is neurobiological in origin, characterized by difficulties in reading, spelling or writing. However different people are affected to varying degrees though some of the affected children may have either normal or above normal intelligence.
The cause of dyslexia is believed to involve both genetic and environmental factors. Some cases run in families. It often occurs in people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and is associated with similar difficulties with numbers. It may begin in adulthood as the result of a traumatic brain injury, stroke, or dementia. Dyslexics are more rooted to use the right side of their brain instead of the left to read and spell.
Following are the difficulties on learning and other associated problems that alert its possibility
- The child is slow in learning skills of reading and spelling though competent enough in other skills like oral class work, mathematics,games etc. He tends to write slowly and hesitatingly wriggling as he writes, his hand writing and drawing skills are also poor.
- He is confused over right and left direction of alphabets which appears as mirror image of each other like ‘b’, d’,’p’,’q’. He may read ‘was’ as ‘saw’ ,’pit’, as ‘tip’, ‘pan’ as ‘nap’ etc. Has difficulty learning new words and also has a smaller vocabulary than other kids of the same age.
- He is unable to follow and perform actions in a sequential order such as describing the days of the week or month of the year. He has difficulties in reciting poems or remembering the exact sequence of the story.
- He might be clumsy and has difficulties in dressing, buttoning, tying shoe laces and often get confused between right and left.
Early recognition of dyslexia is important as slow learning may adversely affects the confidence and self esteem of the child. He should be assessed by an educational psychologist for diagnosis and management of the condition. He should also be examined for any visual or hearing defect as well as his IQ be assessed to find his level of intelligence.
However a dyslexic child should remain in the mainstream school and encouraged to pursue other activities and hobbies.They should be given coaching in phonetics by special educators as well as provided help by computer reading programs. The parents should educate themselves in the concept of phonemes (breaking every word or sound into several parts) and phonetics to provide training to their child at home.
Many dyslexics are gifted with special talents and creative mind. They may have special visual, spatial and lateral thinking abilities. Famous people who faced reading difficulties in their school but became legendary include Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Graham Bell, Henry Ford, Steven Hawkins.
The dyslexic kids need to be treated with love and care, given the encouragement they could do very well in their life. As it is said that every cloud has a silver lining.