Dyslexia – the learning disability in children
We can define Dyslexia in a number of ways. A scientific/medical definition of Dyslexia would include a host of words and phrases that present Dyslexia as a complicated condition. However, to understand this condition in uncomplicated terms, it becomes imperative to define Dyslexia in a manner, which really helps to know about it completely in non-technical terms.
In simplest of the terms, Dyslexia can be defined as a condition initially experienced by small children wherein they find it very difficult to properly learn, spell and read. Such children may otherwise be very well groomed, but when they would have to read something or talk, they simply cannot do it. Even if they are able to utter something, it is done by using great effort and most of the times the other person would not be able to understand what that child is trying to communicate.
The condition of Dyslexia continues through the life of an individual. Although the degree of the affect could vary from person to person.
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a problem related to the coordination of the reading and writing activities. In this problem the brain is unable to properly coordinate the movements of the eyes, tongue, lips and hands in order to correct read and write.
What does Dyslexia mean?
Dyslexia as a word has its origins from the Greek dictionary wherein it simply means ‘difficulty of words or language’. Here ‘dys’ means ‘difficulty with’ and ‘lexia’ means ‘words or language’.
Children who suffer from this condition of Dyslexia are called as being dyslectic. Such dyslectic children are not able to correctly read and write. Dyslectic children also face problems in memorizing. Due to this reason, dyslectic children are not able to correctly retrieve memorized information from their brain. These days Dyslexia in children has become a common occurrence.
What is a Learning Disability?
Dyslexia results in learning disability in children. A dyslectic child finds it very complicated to clearly focus on the text that has to be read, process the same and arrange the alphabets properly to form a word. Likewise, a dyslectic child although would have very clear thoughts about any particular thing in his/her mind, but when the same thoughts have to be told to another person, either by speaking or writing; at that moment that dyslectic child would not be able to transfer his thoughts using the tongue or hands.
However, the point that we should always remember is that this learning disability that results from Dyslexia is in no way any indicator of the intelligence level of a child or person.
How is Dyslexia related with the Learning Ability?
In the present times a lot of thought goes in the playgroup schools in making a child learn the alphabets by phonetics. Through this process a child learns the actual sound that is created when an alphabet in pronounced. Once the child has learnt the phonetics of the different alphabets, it becomes quite easy for a normal child to join the different sounds of the alphabets, make a word out of it and pronounce the same.
However, if a child is dyslectic, then the child would not be able to learn the phonetics of the alphabets and making complete words out of them would become really impossible. A dyslectic child faces tremendous difficulty in memorizing the different sounds of the alphabets. Their brain cannot coordinate the different processes involved in learning; the processing speed of the brain gets too slow and this jeopardizes the end result. We can therefore say that Dyslexia severely hampers the learning ability of a child.
Children with Learning Difficulty
It has been an established fact that the real brain development of any child takes place during the ages of 2 and 8. This is the golden period of understanding things and sharpening the learning skills for any child.
It is believed that due to children’s inquisitive nature, all their learning abilities are developed during these ages. But if the child is suffering from Dyslexia, then the brain fails to properly coordinate the eyes, the tongue and the lips. The brain also fails in effectively retrieving any previously learned information. This condition makes it very hard for the child to carry out the reading and learning activities properly, thereby severely affecting the learning ability of the child.
Some of the prominent facts about Dyslexia are outlined below:
- Dyslexia amongst children is one of the most commonly occurring disorders among small children.
- A study of different cases related to Dyslexia has proved that a large number of children are born with this condition. A small percentage of the dyslectic children also acquire this condition due to some mishappening/accident.
- A study of dyslectic children has also revealed that in most of the cases at least one of the family members had a history of Dyslexia.
- Dyslexia results due to the improper functioning of the brain wherein the brain does not coordinate the eye and muscle movements that are required for correct reading and speaking activities.
- Dyslexia makes learning appear as a Herculean task for the children. Since the learning ability of a child is negatively affected by Dyslexia, this results in problems related to reading and speaking properly.
- The characteristics and the level of Dyslexia would vary from person to person. No two individuals would have the same set of criterion to define their degree of Dyslexia.
- Dyslexia is a permanent non-treatable condition.
- A dyslectic child would otherwise have normal body functions.
- A large majority of the parent fails to identify Dyslexia in their children during its early stages. During these times such parents tend to think that the difficulty, which their child is facing while reading or pronouncing, is part of the normal growing process associated during childhood. In such cases the school teachers, of the school to which the affected child goes, are the first ones to detect Dyslexia in the child.
- The symptoms of Dyslexia are more prominent when a child reaches the age where reading with correct pronunciation is expected.
- The symptoms of Dyslexia are common in children, adolescents and teenagers as well.
- Children with learning difficulties can overcome their problems and succeed in any kind of activity, including academics, if they are provided with education in a specifically designed manner.
- Different kinds of teaching methodologies exist to teach dyslectic children.
- If Dyslexia is not detected and acknowledged in time; and suitable corrective measures are not initiated, then as the child grows, he/she would not be able to lead an organized life. In more serious cases, the sense time and date also ceases and the person leads a haphazard life.
Although the above facts may present a gloomy picture about the condition of Dyslexia; you should take heart from the other positive fact that many dyslectic children went on to become very famous personalities of their field.
Dyslexia in Children
Since a child who suffers with Dyslexia will not be able to read, write, learn and pronounce confidently and effortlessly, it is possible that such a child would start behaving in an altogether different manner. The child would see the peer group (which is not dyslectic) express itself and indulge in all kinds of activities without any difficulty. The child would start finding all such activities as uninteresting.
The dyslexic child would also find staying aloof most of the time as being very convenient. Although, on the inside, the child would very much want to get involved in all activities being performed by the peer group. All this could also result in the child becoming an introvert.
This phenomenon would be more experienced in cases where the child does not have supportive parents to lean on.
Hence, as parents we must understand that dyslectic children need much more attention, care and specific ways to enhance their learning abilities and make them capable of performing each and every task.