It can be very difficult to identify whether your child has dyslexia, but if it is not identified and dealt with appropriately, then your child may not be able to cope with school, develop low self esteem, struggle throughout life and develop severe emotional and intellectual problems.
Dyslexia in lay terms means that a child’s brain has trouble processing letters and sounds. It is a learning disability but is NOT due to a lack of intelligence. In fact the child is often super intelligent.
With dyslexia the child may experience the following difficulties:
- Reversal of letters and numbers
- Difficulty in copying from the board or a book
- Problems in remembering information
- With reading parts of the word or whole sentences can be missed, and thus children read similar words instead. There is also swapping letters over. They will read slowly and make many mistakes.
- They can find it hard to write, and they could write the letters the incorrect way round.
- Problems with identifying left and right.
- They might become a late talker and have pronunciation difficulties
- Trouble with learning the connection between sounds and letters.
- They can become withdrawn and act out which often draw attention away from this learning disorder.
The causes of dyslexia are unknown but research shows that there is a difference in the way the brain processes information, and genetics do in fact play a role.
If you as the parent notice these symptoms you need to consult your pediatrician as soon as possible, so that these problems can be dealt with at a young age. Pediatricians use several tests to determine dyslexia including visual, auditory, kinesthetic, oral and output testing.
Should your child have dyslexia, the parent should be in constant communication with the teacher, as well as doing practical work at home. You as a parent can make it far easier for your child by following these proven helpful suggestions:
- Your child may have difficulty at school, and this may decrease their self esteem, so allow them to enroll in activities they enjoy out of school, like art or dancing, to ensure their happiness and well being.
- Your child will need a lot of encouragement and support throughout their schooling career, and positive feedback is essential in their learning curve.
- Make sure you are reading to your child often, so they hear the sounds and understand the process. Then get your child to read the same thing over again.
- Educate yourself as a parent and keep up with latest research on dyslexia through the internet, magazines, books, pediatricians and teachers. There may also be support groups out there where you can get more ideas from, as well as support as the parent going through this challenge.
- Ensure that the teachers are doing whatever they can to assist your child in learning the material whilst at the same time dealing with their dyslexia. If you are unhappy with this, speak to a headmaster and come to a reasonable solution.
- It is very common and effective to get a tutor for your child, who has the time to properly give one on one attention to your child, as well as have patience and ensuring it is a stress free environment. Otherwise ensure you have the time to give your child the homework attention he/she requires.
- Allow your child to use a computer and educational games, to assist them in learning to read, type and conceptualize.
- Ask the teacher to use different aids in explaining the work (you must also use these at home) and possibly give extra time to complete tests and exams.
The child must also learn to help themselves, and this can be done through reading at night, practicing spelling, writing and listening. They must persevere even during the tough times, and together you and your child can ensure that school and homework should never be feared, but worked on continuously to improve the results. Remember the sooner dyslexia is treated, the more favourable the outcome.