Because of dyslexia problems, some children find it difficult to learn to read. Their difficulties arise out of problems with information processing related to deficits in auditory or visual perception. Children with dyslexia problems experience difficulty with word, letter or number reversals. However, new research on dyslexia problems indicates methods of instruction to help everyone to learn to read successfully irrespective of the underlying problems.
Some facts about dyslexia
Children with average or above average IQ but who read one to one-and-half grades or more below their level, may have dyslexia problems. Dyslexia problems affect approximately 3 - 6% of the general population; yet, it is found that up to 50% of school children in different parts of the country do not read at grade level. What this indicates is that ineffective reading instructions are also responsible for many children failing to read at grade level. So a dyslexic child may suffer from the dual difficulties of having dyslexia problems as well as receiving ineffective instructions.
Children who have one or more than one of the symptoms mentioned below are thought to have dyslexia or some form of learning disability:
- they may display word or letter reversal while writing
- they may display word or letter reversal while reading, for instance, b/d, p/q, saw/was etc
- poor printing and handwriting ability
- poor drawing
- finds it difficult to repeat something said to them
- finds it difficult to comprehend spoken or written directions
- confuses left-right directionality
- finds it difficult to write down their thoughts
Children with dyslexia problems have these symptoms because of brain dysfunction and not due to poor hearing or vision. The ears and eyes do their function properly, but the sounds or images become scrambled in the lower brain centers before reaching the higher brain centers, causing confusion in the learner.
A child who is having learning difficulties due to dyslexia problems has to be given a full neuro-developmental exam in which his vision, hearing, coordination, neurological development, auditory perception, visual perception, academic achievement and intelligence are tested.
Often, dyslexia problems can be treated with the help of simple exercises which can bring about an improvement with a specific problem, or show the learner techniques which can compensate for the problem. These can be performed at home. If required, a speech or educational therapist may be consulted.
The causes of dyslexia problems
The main causes of dyslexia problems leading to reading difficulties are
- inadequate reading instructions
- difficulties with auditory perception
- difficulties with visual perception
- difficulties with language processing
It has been established by innumerable research studies that phonics in the most effective way to teach reading. It has also been established that phonics is the only method of teaching reading to learners with dyslexia problems or any other learning disability.
It is unfortunate that the majority of US schools do not use the phonics approach to instruct children in reading.
But learning the correct phonics skills combined with some special help with expressive and receptive language skills can go a long way in improving reading difficulties arising out of dyslexia problems in the learner.
Am I Dyslexic