Sunaina is very good at singing and painting, but she is not able to copy her homework from the blackboard.
Sameer dreads the school after summer vacations. He cannot spell words and forgets whatever he had learnt the previous day. He fails to differentiate between b and d. He also mixes up c for s and p for q.
Neena is not sure about directions. Many a times she writes backwards. Spellings and mathematics gives her nightmares.
All the children, whose names are mentioned above, are suffering from dyslexia. Learning and going to school becomes a daily struggle for these children but one must realise that what they lack in certain areas, they can make up in other fields such as fine arts, humanities etc. Their difficulty in reading isn’t due to lack of motivation, poor teaching, mental retardation, vision or hearing deficits.
It is important to understand that when a dyslexic person sees letters or words reversed or mixed up, there is usually nothing wrong with his eyes. The problem is in the way their mind interprets what his eyes see – like an optical illusion.
Dyslexia is a persistent, lifelong condition. There’s no cure for it, but there are ways to approach learning and emerge successful.
Encourage & build confidence
Although children with dyslexia have language processing and learning difficulties, the symptoms and severity may vary in children. Dyslexics can improve their academic struggles with some support and encouragement. Besides that, parents should look for other areas the child may be skilled in. They must encourage him to believe that he is no different from other children, rather, he is much more talented and special.
Show inspiring role models
Since dyslexia is often a self- compensating disorder that can be overcome with time, effort and understanding, it is crucial to provide dyslexics with success stories of well known individuals like Einstein and Da Vinci, so that they don’t give up and continue to persevere. There are several successful dyslexics, who learned to overcome barriers of life and accomplished their dreams and desires. Their successful stories, despite dyslexia, show that ‘miracles’ can be occur.
Help teachers to teach
Copying homework from the board is a daily problem for dyslexic children in school, and a regular nightmare for parents. Teachers need to understand the special needs of these children and must give them adequate time (avoid last minute writing of homework on the board). They also must verbally read out the homework slowly to the children. A multi-sensory approach is known to be effective, for example, using Scotch tape to make numbers and letters on the rug or on the floor. The physical act of creating a number with the tape helps to jog the memory every time the child would have to write it on a paper.
Choose the right school
If you suspect that your child is potentially dyslexic at a very young age, then you should find out more about how dyslexic children think and learn best. Understanding your child’s learning style will help you in choosing preschool and school settings that are geared toward his need.
A little bit of patience and right guidance can help these children walk a long path. Remember, just like other children, Dyslexic children thrive on challenges and success.