What is dyslexia?
What is dyslexia?
The student who struggles with reading and spelling often puzzles teachers and parents. The student receives the same classroom instruction as other students,but continues to struggle with some or all of the many facets of reading and spelling.This student may have dyslexia.
What are the primary symptoms of dyslexia?
The primary symptoms are:
Problems learning the letter sounds for reading and spelling
Difficulty in reading single words,such as on flash cards and in lists (decoding)
Lack of fluency
Reading slowly with many mistakes
Poor visual gestalt / coding (orthographic coding)
Dyslexia is not a disease! The word dyslexia comes from the Greek language and means difficulty with words. Individuals with dyslexia have trouble with reading and spelling despite having the ability to learn. Individuals with dyslexia can learn, they just learn in a different way. Often these individuals,who have talented and productive minds, are said to have a language learning difference.
Dyslexia on a Continuum
Dyslexia occurs on a continuum from mild to severe and no two are alike. There is no cure for dyslexia since it is a brain based difference,however with appropriate instruction aimed towards their learning needs, most can overcome their literacy difficulties and lead productive lives.
A student with dyslexia will have a particular pattern of strengths and weaknesses which indicate a dyslexic profile. The central difficulty for a student with dyslexia is to convert letter symbols to their correct sound (decode) and convert sounds to their correct written symbol(spell).Research into dyslexia subtypes indicate that poor visual (i.e., orthographic) coding can also be part of the difficulty.
What causes dyslexia?
A difference in the way the brain works
Problems in the development of phonological awareness
Paying attention to empowerment,emotional intelligence and self esteem is vital when it comes to dyslexia. Jodi Clements
Strengths of dyslexia
Research has indicated that we should be wary about automatically assuming that language processing difficulties/differences or cognitive difficulties/differences associated with dyslexia are deficits. Some of the cognitive differences that dyslexic individuals display may actually confer advantages for some kinds of thinking or encourage them to find different paths to learning:
The following are some of the strengths that individuals with dyslexia may display:
Comprehending new ideas
Finding different strategies
Seeing the big picture
The Dyslexic Advantage-Cognitive Strengths of individuals with dyslexia:
The Australian Dyslexia Association
The ADA does not endorse any specific program, method or product but does support a multisensory structured language (MSL) approach to the teaching of individuals with dyslexia or a related reading difficulty.
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