Research studies suggest that as large as 9 per cent of school aged children in the United States alone are suffering from Dyslexia. Some researchers have suggested even 17 per cent. It is understood that problem could be much larger in Europe and non-European countries. It is reported that in countries like the US, Canada, New Zealand and UK, there is lack of proper support and interest in learning disabilities of children in public schools. And in most of the countries, children are struggling with phonics and developmental disorders.
Dyslexia is a neurological or brain based condition. With this condition, there is supposed to be poor communication between the left and right brain hemispheres. It is a specific learning disability whereby elementary school children have reading, writing and spelling difficulties.
The word “Dyslexia” is composed of two Greek words – “Dys” meaning impaired and “lexis” meaning word. Children suffering from dyslexia are called dyslexic or dyslectic. A dyslexia child is not able to develop reading and writing skills despite normal teaching and sociological environment. Dyslexia is supposed to be both genetic and hereditary.
It is generally believed that dyslectic children are not in any way less intelligent or suffering from sensory problems like poor eyesight, though in some cases they have poor vision also. They could be having all the intellectual and physical abilities, but still be dyslectic. They are motivated, but they are not able to develop enough reading and writing skills as their other classmates.
Though dyslexia affects primarily reading and writing skills, they are also reported to be having speaking and other non-language difficulties. Boys are supposed to be more dyslectic than girls. Dyslexia can range from mild to severe conditions. Some experts are of the view that the term dyslexia should be applied more to children with acute learning problems of about 5 per cent of all dyslectic cases, and “Reading Disorder” or “Reading Disability” should generally be applied to most of the other cases.
While understanding dyslexia, it may, however, be noted that poor reading skills are not solely because of dyslexia. These could also be the result of poor teaching methods.
Dyslectic children can be spotted early. While still in their First, Second or Third grades, they may demonstrate speaking difficulties and mixed up sounds and pronunciations. They may not speak letters like R’s, L’s, M’s or N’s properly. In short they lack in speech. They may wrongly pronounce words like “red and green” as “wed and green” and the like. They could also be having listening problems.
It is but natural that children with speech and hearing problems can latter be having reading problems as well. They will be lacking awareness regarding smallest units in spoken language or phonetic awareness.
The existence or non-existence of dyslexia is determined by a qualified professional like a neurologist or an educational psychologist by following a proper dyslexia test. The evaluation is designed to test reading, writing, spelling and language skills. In addition, memory, intelligence, hearing and vision tests may also be conducted. Generally, dyslectic children are characterized with the following:
It is generally believed that there is no ultimate and permanent cure for dyslexia. Since their skills are vastly different than the majority of children, the primary responsibility for correcting their learning deficiencies rests on them. They have to apply themselves though conditions will have to be created for facilitating their tasks. They have to learn appropriate learning strategies.
Dyslexia can be considerably tackled with proper therapy, training and equipment. If dialectic disabilities are not tackled properly by age 12, those children may never obtain a positive self-image. They may completely drop out of school. Therefore, it is important that dyslectic conditions are recognized and addressed to at a very early childhood age.
Educational one to one tutoring is considered to be the most effective treatment for dyslexia. Here the stress should be on building phonetic decoding skills. This often involves breaking words into their basic sounds and rearranging these sounds to produce different words. This can improve their reading decoding skills.
Another treatment can be through molding tutorial lessons appropriately by developing modules and other software. In fact, there are lot of aids and software available in the market for correcting dyslectic conditions.
It is suggested that musical training can also aid in remedying dyslexia.
Though in severe cases of disruptive behavior from dyslectic children, medication is prescribed, it is the dyslectic or learning disabilities that need to be tackled in the first instance.
Following measures can also be undertaken in addition to the above:
Many charitable organizations around the world have also come forward to lend support in tackling dyslexia by funding, training and equipment.
Lot of research has been done internationally on the subject. International Dyslexia Association has also been in the forefront of dyslexia treatment.
A very exhaustive resource relating to the study of dyslexia, dyslexia symptoms and methods of overcoming dyslexia can be found at http://www.businesses-jobs-careers.com/dyslexia.html