Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in children and persists throughout life. It is a neurological problem of genetic origin which makes the acquisition of language skills extremely difficult. The condition is sometimes referred to as word blindness, specific language based disability, developmental dyslexia and mirror reading.
Dyslexia is not a disease, but a specific language difficulty characterised by problems in expressive or receptive, oral or written language. It is usually recognised when a child is of school age. If the child is bright, dyslexia can go unrecognised by teachers and parents for years as was the case with one of my learners. The sooner dyslexia is treated, the more favorable the outcome. However, it is never too late for people with dyslexia to learn to improve their language skills.
Children with dyslexia have difficulty in learning to read despite traditional instruction. It is caused by an impairment in the brain’s ability to translate images received from the eyes or ears into understandable language. It does not result from vision or hearing problems. It is not due to mental retardation, brain damage, or a lack of intelligence. True dyslexia is much broader than simply confusing or transposing letters, for example mistaking ”b” and “d.”
Now if you think that teaching English to a dyslexic child is a task, wait till you teach Arabic! Arabic is arguably one of the most difficult languages in the world for many, can you imagine how tough this is for a dyslexic child? Yet my learners don’t give up which is why I say, they are my provision when the road seems so long and arduous. Their spirit breathes in me the courage to hang on, to keep going when I am worn to the bone.
There are different types of dyslexia,
“Trauma dyslexia” usually occurs after some form of brain trauma or injury to the area of the brain that controls reading and writing. It is rarely seen in today’s school-age population.
“Primary dyslexia.” This type of dyslexia is a dysfunction of, rather than damage to, the left side of the brain (cerebral cortex) and does not change with age. Individuals with this type are rarely able to read above a fourth-grade level and may struggle with reading, spelling, and writing as adults. Primary dyslexia is passed in family lines through their genes (hereditary). It is found more often in boys than in girls.
“Secondary” or “developmental dyslexia” and is felt to be caused by hormonal development during the early stages of foetal development. Developmental dyslexia diminishes as the child matures. It is also more common in boys.
Dyslexia may affect several different functions. Visual dyslexia is characterized by number and letter reversals and the inability to write symbols in the correct sequence. Auditory dyslexia involves difficulty with sounds of letters or groups of letters. The sounds are perceived as jumbled or not heard correctly.
Many subtle signs can be observed in children with dyslexia. Children may become withdrawn and appear to be depressed. They may begin to act out, drawing attention away from their learning difficulty. Problems with self-esteem can arise, and peer and sibling interactions can become strained. These children may lose their interest in school-related activities and appear to be unmotivated or lazy. The emotional symptoms and signs are just as important as the academic and require equal attention. (WebMD)