Dyslexia is general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols. it however doesn’t affect general intelligence. People of different age group can be affected to various degrees. It can be due to a developmental problem or can be acquired (due to brain damage). However it is not a disease!
About one in ten people around the world have dyslexia. 70-80% of people with poor reading skills, are likely dyslexic. Dyslexia is the most common language based learning disabilities. Male and females are equally affected and there is no racial or socioeconomic predilection.
CAUSES OF DYSLEXIA
- Hereditary; you can inherit the trait for dyslexia from your parents. Researchers who have studied identical twins have also found that where one twin is dyslexic, the other twin has a 55-70% chance of also having dyslexia.
- electrical stimulation in the brain; it has also been found that some dyslexic patients have less electrical stimulation to the reading areas of the brain.
- Abnormalities in some genes such as DCDC2 and KIAA0319 on chromosome 6 and DYX1C1 on chromosome 15 have been associated with dyslexia.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DYSLEXIA
- Delayed onset of speech
- Difficulty distinguishing left from right
- Difficulty with direction
- Lack of phonological awareness; which is an individual’s awareness of the sound and structure of words.
- Easily distracted by background noise.
- Difficulty in identifying or generating rhyming words, or counting the number of syllables in words
- Difficulty in naming things.
- Adults with dyslexia can often read with good comprehension, though they tend to read more slowly than others without a learning difficulty and perform worse in spelling tests.
It is important to know that people with dyslexia have same intelligence as their peers. Many people with dyslexia go on to have very successful careers later in life if the condition is properly managed.
There is no medical treatment in the management of dyslexia. It is important you start management at an early stage. Professional help both within and outside the school is very important.
Certain tips needed in management of dyslexia include;
- It is important you go into details about each word. Ensure the child identifies each letter in a word before reading out the pronunciation of the word.
- You can create a memory card for your child where problematic words can be written.
- Words can be cut out with paper and the child feels them with his/her hands there by making use of multiple sense organs.
- Make a word wall by using cut out papers to write words on a colourful board.
- Keep up with the class teacher so you both practice the same words with the child.
- Come up with interesting word game ideas with your child.
- It is very important you take the learning process gradually so as not to discourage the child.