What Is Dyslexia


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The question most commonly asked if someone comes across a dyslexic is what is dyslexia. Parents get worried when their child is unable to cope at school and gets bad reports constantly; teachers may be unable to identify the signs of dyslexia and continue labelling the child as ‘lazy’ or ‘dumb’. In all this brouhaha, it is the child who suffers the most as his condition is not understood by anyone and he feels pushed and harassed by the continuous demands of both parents and teachers to ‘do better’ or ‘work harder’ etc.

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His social life at school is no easier as his peers may make fun of his ‘stupidity’ and he may start suffering from poor self-esteem and lose confidence in himself. Thus, it is important to get a few facts about dyslexia clear and to understand exactly what is dyslexia so that unwittingly we do not make a dyslexic child embarrassed about his condition.

Defining dyslexia

What is dyslexia can be defined as a neurological disorder in the brain which causes learning difficulties in the individual concerned wherein he is unable to grasp the basic concepts of reading and writing skills pertinent to his age group through conventional methods of teaching. Here, the intelligence of the child is not in doubt; dyslexics possess average or even above average intelligence and it is only the neurological disorder in their brain which prevents them from picking up learning skills in the conventional ways.

Characteristics of dyslexics

When we want to know what is dyslexia we also have to try and recognize the characteristics of dyslexics so that we can help them cope with the situation better. Individuals having dyslexia may appear to be articulate and bright but their reading, spelling, writing and mathematical skills are extremely suspect and are below par their age group. They have problems in concentrating and may daydream and keep losing track of time. Dyslexics can be very talented in other fields like art, drama, engineering, designing, building, music, sports and mechanics etc. They learn best through audio-visual aids and hands-on experiences, experiments and demonstrations

The various types of dyslexia

The many types of dyslexia include speech and language disorders in which producing speech sounds is difficult and mispronouncing certain alphabets or words is common. This is also called developmental articulation disorder. Developmental receptive language disorder occurs when the person is unable to understand what other people say. Communicating may become difficult as the person may have poor skills in using spoken language and this is called developmental expressive language disorder.

Understanding academic learning disorders form a major part of knowing what is dyslexia as it involves reading problems wherein the individual cannot identify the various word sounds. Problems with handwriting or stringing words together to make comprehensible sentences are also very common. Abstract mathematical concepts or calculations are troublesome for dyslexics.

Many dyslexics possess a high level of intelligence and are brilliant in creative and imaginative fields. Albert Einstein was a dyslexic and this fact alone should be inspirational enough!


Reading Difficulties