How and Why Children Fail

Many difficulties can arise when trying to diagnose a child with having dyslexia. This is partly because not all people will suffer from the same symptoms. Also the severities of the symptoms of dyslexia vary from person to person. In fact, when comparing a sufferer’s intellect to their reading and writing skills there may be little difference to what you would expect. This could be a result of the sufferer developing another way to compensate for their difficulty. There is also the problem of determining what the “normal” level of language ability is at different stages of development.

Before the child has reached school the chance of detecting dyslexia is relatively low. Some indications are: a later than expected development of speech; frequently mixing up phrases; or using different words which sound similar to the word that should be used. Health visitors and parents can use their knowledge of what is consistent for developmental milestones to assess their child. However, unless their child is substantially behind the average range, it is unlikely that their child’s problems will be detected.

Once the child is at Primary school the affects may be more apparent; and the detection of dyslexia may become easier. During this period, a child’s school work will begin to depend more and more on their reading and writing skills. Therefore, any problems will be more likely to stand out. Yet, it can often be the case that a dyslexic child will be looked over at school. Many have been, and continue to be, disregarded as being slow at learning or lazy. The simplest way to determine whether a child has dyslexia or not, is to give the child a set of tests.

These are to assess their intellect and language skills. Many different tests have been devised over the years, for example: the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, the Neale Analysis of Reading Ability and Daniels’ Graded Spelling Test. The main aim of these tests is to establish if the child has language difficulties which do not agree with the child’s intellect. Generally, when a child’s reading and writing is well behind what would be expected from them in comparison to their intellect, it is a good indication that the child may be dyslexic.

Although there are no cures of dyslexia, there are methods of treatment available which can help sufferers deal with their disability. Piracetam was developed over thirty years ago and was originally used to treat motion sickness. It was not until the beginning of the 1970’s that research discovered the drugs ability to enhance learning and memory. A twelve week study of 257 dyslexic boys took place in 1985. The results found that the boys who had received piracetam showed signs of improvement in their reading speeds and in their auditory short-term memory.

There are other treatments which do not involve drugs; but try to train the brain in some way. For example, cognitive therapy is used to train the memory and improve speech; and visual and brain stimulation can be used to improve reflexes. Recently, a treatment has been developed which involves the use of physical exercise to train the cerebellum to function normally. These exercise programmes include activities such as throwing and catching bean bags and standing on one leg while trying to tie knots in a piece of string.

Rod Nicholson and David Reynolds found that children who performed these simple exercises showed improvements in reading and speaking. Under the Disability Discrimination Act, dyslexia is recognised as a disability. With all disabilities, the sufferers require extra help in some way to allow them to carry on with their lives. Within the school environment, adjustments to their teaching could be the answer. It may be that the child only requires some extra time to complete their work; or that extra or special tuition is require to help the child learn.

Learning can be made easier for dyslexics with the use of multi-sensory teaching methods: incorporating as many senses as possible at one time. Through this the child can use their strengths to learn and help to enhance their weaknesses at the same time. For example, a child may be good at recognising words they see. However, with this method, if they see, speak and write the word they can improve their writing and reading skills quicker. Dyslexics can also be prone to a poor short-term memory; so the use of repetition can help dyslexics to remember words, symbols and sequences.

However, poor language skills do not mean that a dyslexic child has a low intelligence. After all, Albert Einstein and Leonardo Da Vinci both suffered from dyslexia. Usually a dyslexic child will excel in some other areas, for example art, music and sport. Also, if a child is diagnosed early and receives the extra help that they require, there is no reason why the child cannot succeed to the same level as others. A recent survey has shown that around 40% of dyslexic students in Britain do not realise that they are dyslexic until they reach university.

As the level of education rises, any coping mechanisms that they may previously have used begin to fail them. This is due to the material; they have to read, being more complex; and the volume of it being far greater. Dyslexia can also affect their ability to organise essays and to manage time efficiently. Individual study support may be required; but they might just need some special arrangements to be made for them with regards to essays and exams: to allow the student more time for completion

A couple of years ago, the British Dyslexia Association launched a campaign to raise awareness of dyslexia within the workplace. The campaign focused on recognising dyslexics in the work environment; and illustrating that just as each person has their weaknesses, they also have their strengths. Although dyslexia sufferers have a language difficulty, their employers can benefit from their artistic or problem solving skills. In conclusion, if a dyslexia sufferer receives the extra help that they require, then they can be as good at their job as anyone else.

Dyslexia has specific difficulties in writing and spelling problems and sometimes a specific problem in mathematic included (British Dyslexia Association, 2002). Traditionally, dyslexia has concentrated mainly on literacy – the learning of the reading and spelling processes. But some dyslexic …

Research studies into dyslexia can be dated as far back as the late 19th century. However, it was not until fifty years ago that the term dyslexia came into use. Originating from the Greek words dys, meaning difficulty, and lexia, …

The symptoms exhibited by dyslexic individuals is closely related to other disorders such as Attention-deficit hyperactivity Disorder, auditory processing disorder, developmental dyspraxia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia (cited in Dalby, 1985). Usually, this disorders display poor short-tem memory skills, poor personal organization …

The biggest obstacle when it comes to this disorder is still the ignorance and prejudice people have against dyslexic individuals. Given the history of dyslexia, it is given that it is not a disease, it is not communicable and it …

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