Dyslexia is a problem that makes it difficult for a kid to read. With some help and a lot of hard work, a kid who has dyslexia can learn to read and spell.
But the dyslexic child sees every word as if for the first time; it simply isn’t in his memory bank. And correcting a dyslexic is like telling a child with a stammer to talk properly or a deaf child to open his ears.
According to the International Dyslexia Association it’s a language based learning problem that makes writing, reading, spelling and even the pronunciation of words difficult. People with dyslexia struggle to link letters to the sounds the letters represent. The exact cause is still a mystery.
Here are the symptoms and warning signs that a child might be dyslexic:
- Struggles to associate a letter with its sound
- Reads slowly and lose his place?
- Fails to remember what he’s read
- Sounds the letters of a word but can’t put the sounds together to form a word
- Confuses letters, such as “b” and “d”
- Leaves letters out, such as writing “vat” instead of “vast”
- Struggles with sentence structure, punctuation, syllables and capital letters
- Struggles with language. Warning signs include an inability to pronounce words correctly, being behind in vocabulary, persisting with baby language, swapping syllables in words and adding or removing bits of words
- Struggles with perceiving things. Good hearing and eyesight are essential. The inability to see similarities and differences in jigsaw puzzles, pictures and symbols could point to a problem.
The good news is – there are different treatment options.
Psychologists’ advice to parents
- Acquire as much information as possible. Read literature on the subject and become as much of an expert in this area as you can.
- Locate the nearest dyslexia information center (your child’s school should be able to help).
- Establish how your child learns and help him to approach his learning work effectively, using, for example, spider diagrams instead of summaries.
- Ask teachers to give your child extra time during exams or permission to do them orally. Ask for concessions for incorrect spelling. Don’t expect too much from your child – adapt to what he can and wants to do.
- If you want him to practise his reading skills choose a book or magazine on a topic that interests him, for example a hobby, favorite music icon or sport.
- Be positive and encouraging at all times. Provide support and assistance – without taking over.
- Teach your child self-discipline and keep boosting his self-esteem.