Even though we commonly neglect this fact, reading is not an easy task to accomplish. Namely, in order to read we need to bear many skills in mind, using them interchangeably and combining them with one another.
For instance, reading requires understanding sounds and connecting them with the letters written. Thus, one needs to know how to connect the sounds with the words, combine these properly, blending letters into greater constituents of sentences. Additionally, reading requires following the lines you read across the page and building images and ideas in your head, visualizing the meaning behind the words and sounds. Finally, once these images are stored, they are compared with our previously acquired knowledge and experiences, helping us understand them.
Any problems with reading usually stem from issues related to some of the constituents of reading. Therefore, kids with dyslexia usually have problems managing to read, write and spell language.
Struggling with Reading
Dyslexic children, as it was mentioned above, experience problems once they start learning how to read. Basically, while most other children learn how to speak sounds before connecting them into words and alphabet items, remembering the rules and processes on the go, dyslexic children may not have it that easy. Rather, they need numerous additional repetitions in order to learn just one of the rules of reading.
Usually, children with dyslexia cannot connect sounds to make words or break words into smaller constituents such as letters or phonemes. Subsequently, these children read slowly, while, at the same time, making a lot of mistakes, mixing sounds and letters within the words they are trying to create.
These problems are bound to appear even before the child reaches the kindergarten age. The problems with reading at a very young age may not bother the parents. However, teachers will clearly see that a dyslexic child is struggling with phonemes and written letters and words. When this occurs, it is best to send the child to a specialist and diagnose the problem timely, if dyslexia is truly present.
Keep in mind that getting a good grade should not be your priority, once you are concerned with your child’s success at school. Rather, you should pay attention to his/her skills, discovering problems on time and treating them as soon as possible. Early detection and treatment of dyslexia increases the chances of a successful management.
Memory Problems with Dyslexia
Bearing in mind that your child may have memory problems taking place hand-in-hand with dyslexia, you should do your best to help him/her overcome these issues through proper support. Help the child learn new ways of remembering words by making learning more attractive. For example, compare the sounds to each other through personification, naming them neighbors, relatives or brothers, assisting the child in his/her learning process. Alternatively, name a group of sounds interestingly such as “lip poppers” for labial sounds.
Furthermore, ask the child’s learning specialist about some additional methods you can use for stimulating memorizing of the sounds. Flash cards, tape classroom lessons and numerous homework assignments are all excellent ways of promoting repetition, which is the main tool of learning, regardless whether the topic is some school subject or, like in this case, phonemes and phonology of the native language.
As for the teachers’ contribution, they too can use some of the methods mentioned above and bear in mind that dyslexic children should be allowed to do their tests longer. Moreover, these children will benefit from all additional information and revision their teachers provide them with. Therefore, as a teacher, bear in mind that dyslexic children bear the same amount of learning potential but need this additional push.
The children suffering from dyslexia may frequently get discouraged by their inability to learn specific sounds or reading and writing skills. This may lead to anger, sadness and various other mixtures of confusing feelings. Therefore, reading, writing, spelling and all other skills of this type should be made interesting for the child, motivating him/her to stay resilient and patient, managing to surpass the obstacles of this learning disorder. However, some children may not be overly fond of the fact that they will have a private tutor. So, the whole teaching process is best to be properly introduced and professionally maintained.
Remember that children with dyslexia, regardless of the memory and language issues they might have, possess great potentials. In fact, numerous ingenious people from the past and the present battled this learning disorder and won. Thus, giving up is not a good option while staying strong and believing in your child, student and yourself are steps bound to prove more than worthy.
All in all, dyslexia is a learning disorder which commonly affects children, appearing very early, possibly remaining present even during adulthood. Fortunately, through proper support and treatment children can manage to overcome all the language problems related to dyslexia and live their adult lives free from this problem.