If you are trying to understand Dyslexia in children, here’s what you should know.
What is Dyslexia?
The source of the word dyslexia is two greek words. ‘Dys’, meaning ‘hard or difficult or bad’, and ‘lexia’, meaning ‘words’. Put together, the words mean ‘difficulty with words’.
Dyslexia is therefore a learning disorder in which a child finds it difficult to read and understand written language. Dyslexia tends to run in families as it is largely linked to genetics.
Signs and Symptoms
Most children with dyslexia tend to have average or above average intelligence, and are motivated to learn. While this is the case, these are some of the symptoms that they tend to experience:
- Difficulty in spelling.
- Mispronouncing names/words.
- Difficulty in learning a foreign language.
- Difficulty recalling what was just said to them.
- Difficulty reading.
In fact, these symptoms are common for individuals of all ages, whether they are children, teenagers, or adults.
Effects of dyslexia on a child
While it is true that dyslexia generally tends to affect a child’s ability to read, it also tends to affect other areas of their lives. This will range from memory to concentration and to how the child perceives themselves. This is greatly affected by how much emotional support the child receives.
- Effect #1: On memory
A dyslexic child may easily forget something you just mentioned to them. This may be an instruction you just gave them or the name of an object you just mentioned. Such a child will constantly need reminders so they know what they ought to do.
- Effect #2: On their self-esteem
Children with dyslexia will face a lot of challenges interacting with other children without the condition. They could easily be made fun of or bullied for their inability to read. They may even be mistaken for being foolish while in reality they have above average intelligence levels. This is why they need extra care and protection, as well as a lot of emotional support as they grow up.
- Effect #3: On time management
Time management can be a significant challenge for children with dyslexia. This is especially the case for task involving reading or writing. They will often become distracted and start to do something else. They therefore need a lot of patience and supervision to help them successfully complete these tasks.
- Effect #4: On their emotions
Because of their poor memory, children with dyslexia may easily forget where they placed an item like a toy. They can become frustrated and emotional when they are unable to find it. This requires a lot of understanding and patience from their parents.
Although there is no cure for this condition, treatment for dyslexia is available. It is also worth noting that treatment is more effective if started while the child is younger. The goal is to teach dyslexic children with the skills they need to improve reading. Different treatment approaches can be used, and specialists develop programs that meet the unique needs of the individuals.
- Reading Plans: This provides children with the extra support they need to learn how to write and read and is conducted by a reading specialist.
- Special learning plans: The law requires schools to set these up. Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) will seek to meet the unique needs of your child. They are updated annually based on the child’s progress.
Children with dyslexia are not foolish. They are just normal kids facing a specific challenge, as does any human being. By loving and giving them the care and support they need, we can help them thrive even with their limitations.