Are you asking what at all Dyslexia is? Well, Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects your ability to read, spell, write, and speak. Kids who have it are often smart and hardworking, but they have trouble connecting the letters they see to the sounds those letters make.
Most people today have some symptoms of dyslexia, such as slow reading, trouble spelling, or mixing up words. Adults can have this learning disorder, as well. Some people are diagnosed early in life. Others don’t realize they have dyslexia until they get older.
Kids with dyslexia often have normal vision and are just as smart as their peers. But they struggle more in school because it takes them longer to read. Trouble processing words can also make it hard to spell, write, and speak clearly.
The good news is that with proper instruction and support from home, there’s no reason why kids with dyslexia can’t learn to read well.
Types Of Dyslexia
Grouping dyslexia into categories and types is quite difficult. Dyslexia as a condition is very much individualized in its severity and symptoms. To further complicate a clear-cut diagnosis, dyslexia can be accompanied by other conditions such as ADHD. Below you’ll find categories of dyslexia. But please know that having one of these types of dyslexia does not mean other types of issues might not be present as well.
- Primary dyslexia – This is a type of dyslexia that is used to describe a dysfunction of the left side of the brain. People who have this type of dyslexia will struggle with reading, spelling, and writing, in various degrees, through adulthood. Primary dyslexia has been determined to be hereditary and this condition appears to be more prevalent in boys.
- Secondary dyslexia, or “developmental dyslexia,” – This is thought to be caused by the hormonal development of the fetus during pregnancy. This type of dyslexia is thought to be highly treatable and has a good possibility of lessening and even going away as the child grows. Again, it is more common in boys.
- One of the more rare types of dyslexia is trauma dyslexia. This usually occurs after some form of brain injury. This was, in fact, the original symptom that led to dyslexia research being started back in the 1860s. It is still seen today, but mostly in adults who have suffered severe brain trauma and is rarely present in children.
It is important to realize that these are considered “causes” for the different types of dyslexia. Listed below are the symptoms, or types, brought on by the above causes.
Visual dyslexia – This is the result of the immature development of the vision process. This could be, in part, that the eyes are not completely developed or have a defect. The eyes will send incomplete information to the visual center of the brain. This visual misinformation is then wrongly translated by the brain.
This can lead to problems with reading and writing.
Phonological dyslexia-or auditory dyslexia – This is the hearing version of visual dyslexia in many ways. However, a more serious condition called Processing Disorder may exist. This type of dyslexia makes it hard for the person to understand sounds, particularly words. Sentences may be jumbled and hard to understand.
Dyspraxia – This relates to difficulty with motor integration. The child will have coordination problems and will often be considered as being “just clumsy.” Sufferers might also have problems with coordinated thought, language, and perception. Sometimes a child might outgrow this.
Dysgraphia –This is one of the types of dyslexia that has a very significant effect on education. This type of dyslexia refers to an immaturity in fine motor skills that makes holding a pencil and writing difficult. Often the student’s handwriting will be illegible. Over time, with help and training, improvement can be made.
Probably the least known types of dyslexia are dyscalculia-or number dyslexia.
People with dyscalculia will have problems performing simple math functions and grasping abstract math concepts. Often, people with dyscalculia will have difficulties with time, measurement, and spatial reasoning. Because it is the least known of all the different types of dyslexia, it often goes unnoticed.
Hopefully, this will give you a better understanding of how most types of dyslexia are categorized.
Different types of dyslexia will have different effects on the sufferer. While there are innumerable variations of dyslexia in varying degrees, it is a good idea to have a working knowledge of the basics.
Symptoms Of Dyslexia
Dyslexia is widely misunderstood. Dyslexics (that is people with dyslexia) are not stupid, they just have information-processing differences and difficulties. Nevertheless, they are often characterized as slow learners, put in special education classes and stigmatized rather than helped to overcome their challenges.
Once identified, dyslexics can be helped to overcome their challenges, perform at acceptable levels and lead normal, productive (often super-productive) lives. But the social stigmatization for being “different” causes most dyslexics to be ashamed of their differences and try to hide them.
This makes identification and diagnosis of dyslexia more difficult. Here are some of the prominent dyslexia symptoms that may indicate underlying dyslexia:
A school-age child with dyslexia might exhibit any of the following dyslexia symptoms:
— Avoid reading or complain about the difficulty of reading.
— Display strengths in higher-level thinking skills, such as curiosity and imagination.
— Mispronounce complicated or unfamiliar words.
— Leave out parts of words or confuse the order of parts. For example, “aluminum” could become “amulium.”
— Pause, hesitate, often say “um”, “uh” or “ah” when speaking.
— Use vague words, such as “stuff” and “things,” instead of proper names.
— Confuse words that sound alike, such as “tornado” for “volcano” and “lotion” for “ocean.”
— Need more time to form verbal responses.
— Have trouble remembering isolated pieces of verbal information, such as dates, names, and lists.
— Make slow progress in acquiring reading skills.
— Guess or make “wild stabs” at words when reading.
— Rely heavily on context to read.
— Fear, dread or resist reading aloud.
— Mispronounce and substitute words when reading aloud.
— Perform disproportionately worse on multiple-choice tests than on other types.
— Spell or write poorly.
Most elementary schools now screen for dyslexia, looking for dyslexia symptoms to identify possible dyslexics as early as possible. This is a relatively recent practice. Adults who finished elementary school more than 15 years ago may have never been screened. In fact, 95% of adult dyslexics are even unaware of their condition.
Most have developed protective mechanisms, sometimes elaborate ones, to hide their disabilities. An adult dyslexic might exhibit these types of behavior, which are frequent dyslexia symptoms:
— Avoid jobs where reading and writing is involved. They might be found employed in positions way below what their intelligence would indicate they would be qualified for.
— Avoid reading, especially reading aloud.
— Feign common problems with eyesight (“…didn’t bring my glasses.”) or other excuses for not reading.
— Avoid newspapers and magazines in favor of television, movies or other media.
— Have difficulty in transcribing telephone numbers or messages received over the phone.
Note that, the presence of any of these dyslexia symptoms does not prove that the person is dyslexic, but it does indicate the possibility. If there is any doubt, if the dyslexia symptoms are strong and repetitious enough, the person should undergo a full dyslexia test. For adults, this can be done online in half an hour.
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Once diagnosed, dyslexics can be taught how to overcome almost all of the problems they might have. With the proper training, dyslexics can overcome their dyslexia symptoms and lead normal, productive lives, living up to and achieving their full potentials.
How Kids Learn To Read
Everyone knows that learning to read is a natural process and that children don’t need much direct instruction. Instead, surround them with books, and they will become readers.
But decades of research shows that reading is not a natural skill. Unlike speaking, which humans learn automatically by being surrounded by speech, we have to be taught how to read.
People with dyslexia have an especially hard time learning to read because their brains are wired in a way that makes understanding the relationship between sounds and letters difficult.
If a child is to learn to read, he or she must first become aware that spoken words are made of individual sounds. After they gain this knowledge (known as phonological awareness), they must be taught that letters or combinations of letters are the way in which we represent these sounds on paper. Most children grasp this concept easily, no matter what method is used to teach them.
Although many children learn to read regardless of the method used, and a few learn to read with little or no formal instruction, pupils with dyslexia have difficulty learning the letter-sound system unless they are taught in an organized, systematic, efficient way by a knowledgeable teacher using a well-designed instructional approach.
Pupils with dyslexia need direct and explicit instruction to develop the knowledge and skills that underpin efficient word reading. These include an understanding of the alphabetic principle (the understanding that speech sounds are represented by letters of the alphabet) and phonological awareness (the ability to segment words into their constituent phonemes).
The challenge is that for most schools today, teachers find it difficult to teach the language as it is to the pupils as they are.
That is why the multisensory approach to learning has always been recommended as effective teaching methods for the child with learning difficulties arising from dyslexia. Wondering what this is?
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Multisensory Structured Language Education (MSLE)
A multisensory teaching approach simply means helping a child to learn through more than one of the senses at a time.
The Principles of this approach are;
- Simultaneous Multisensory which means that teaching is done using all learning pathways in the brain (visual, auditory, kinesthetic/tactile).
- Systematic and Cumulative which means Multisensory language instruction requires that the organization of material follows the logical order of the brain. Each step must also be based on those already learned.
- Direct Instruction: The learning of any concept cannot be taken for granted. Multisensory language instruction requires the direct teaching of all concepts with continuous student-teacher interaction.
- Diagnostic Teaching means that the teacher must be adept at individualized teaching. The teaching plan is based on the careful and continuous assessment of the child’s needs. The content presented must be mastered to the degree of automaticity.
- Synthetic and Analytic Instruction: Multisensory, structured language programs include both synthetic and analytic instruction. Synthetic instruction presents the parts of the language and then teaches how the parts work together to form a whole. Analytic instruction presents the whole and teaches how this can be broken down into its parts.
Children with reading disabilities and dyslexia can both benefit from a multisensory reading program and teaching style. By understanding what a multisensory reading program is and how it is effective in teaching children to read, you can fight for one for your child.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Mistakes
Do you know that Thomas Edison was kicked out of school and labeled as retarded?
Read the story here: The Untold Story Of A Mother Who Raised The Inventor Of The Light Bulb.
This is the same man that took 10,000 attempts to get the light bulb right and all the while was ridiculed because 9,999 of his concepts were incorrect.
People mocked him because he continually made ‘mistakes.’ Did that deter Thomas Edison? No way, he stuck with his vision and learned something from all the 9,999 failures. Why, because they were not mistakes to him but valid attempts at working out how to achieve his goal.
Thomas Edison learned by his so-called mistakes and so does children; they try over and over again. That is the way we learn perseverance.
Surely it is time our educators removed their flaps and recognized these qualities in their dyslexic students. Schools should stop teaching that mistakes are negative; in fact, if handled properly they can be a definite positive in a child’s life.
We usually learn from our mistakes. So don’t be afraid of making one.
Because see, the child, who regularly gets everything correct, frequently sails through his early years, finally landing a safe and secure job. But, what if trouble catches up with them midlife? Say redundancy perhaps? These are the adults who have tremendous difficulties starting over further down the track because they have simply never needed to learn the art of lateral thinking. It is at this stage that the kids who began in the lower reading groups making so many early mistakes now come into their own.
But for this to be possible, these kids must at least have one person who genuinely cared enough about them and encouraged them to pick themselves up and start over again and again and again. It doesn’t matter if that person was a parent, friend, teacher; the truth is that everyone needs to know that someone cares enough to encourage them to give something a second try.
In today’s world, most kids with learning disabilities are labeled as stupid almost from the day they walked into school. These are the kids frequently ignored in the classroom because the average teacher has no idea how to help them out. But what so many adults are unaware of is that these children are amongst the brightest when given an IQ test.
Consider people like Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill, all labeled as dyslexic but their contributions to the world are far more than what we could ever have imagined.
Surely they made mistakes but they tried over and over again until they became successful.
Imagine how different the world would be if we all could learn this gentle art of encouragement and find ways to help others rather than grouping them. It is time our school system realizes that many children labeled as dyslexia are equally as capable of making decisions, taking responsibility and becoming worthwhile contributors to society as those considered to be normal.
How will you help a dyslexic child to read well? Leave your comment below and let’s hear what you think.