Could one or more of your students have Dyslexia?
Term commences and many of the children are excited to be catching up with friends after the holidays, amongst these eager youngsters are a few individuals that suffer with Dyslexia. 15 per cent of the population has dyslexia or a learning disability and for them returning to school can be a time full of anxiety and stress.
Dyslexia is a language-based learning difficulty, it affects a person’s ability to read, spell, write, comprehend and even sometimes speak.
Dyslexia can go undetected in the early grades of schooling. The child can become frustrated by the difficulty in learning to read, and other problems can develop disguising dyslexia. The child may show signs of depression and low self-esteem. If left undiagnosed the child may suffer enormous personal and social costs throughout their schooling years and eventually their careers.
Behaviour problems at home as well as at school are frequently seen. Children with Dyslexia are very clever and adept at hiding their difficulties. Peer pressure and fear of repercussions will cause them to cover their mistakes and be less likely to ask for assistance.
Specific signs of dyslexia to monitor for include:
- Problems distinguishing between words containing similar letters e.g. “no” for “on”, and “saw” for “was”
- May include reversal of letters or numbers even after the initial Prep level and confusion between letters with similar shapes e.g. “b” for “d”, and “p” for “q”
- Poor comprehension of reading
- Difficulty understanding instructions
- Misunderstanding questions and giving inappropriate answers
- Finds it difficult to stay focused and appears to daydream often
- Fidgets frequently
- Avoiding tasks if they appear “too hard”
- Seeming to tire easily, particularly during or after reading tasks (Studies have shown that a dyslexic child’s brain activity is up to 5 times that of a child without the condition thus causing more rapid fatigue)
Combinations of these traits appear in varying degrees of severity, if a child displays several of these traits they may be struggling due to dyslexia however there can be other factors to consider. It is important to consider the child’s ability to hear, perform fine or gross motor skills and pronounce sounds as other testing may be required.
Children suffering with dyslexia require extra assistance to perform well in the classroom.
Some schools may offer an individual education program (IEP) specifically designed to deal with the child’s needs. Resources within school can be limited so the suggestion of an external tutor would be of benefit.
Dyslexics learn well with visual cues so presentations involving pictures and personal interaction will give them a better understanding of the topic than reading about it. If instructions are given in a written format, keep them short, to the point and in dot form if possible.
With early diagnosis and access to the appropriate curriculum, teaching methodology and support, both at home and in school, a dyslexic child should easily reach their potential and maintain a healthy self-esteem. If you see that parents are willing to help their child but feel helpless in finding a solution, you may wish to pass on our contact details. We can answer any questions they may have and may even have the solution to their problems.