Difficulties With The Learning Disability
For those of you who don’t know, dyslexia is a specific type of learning disability whereby a child is unable to read letters or words properly. This is because the child is not able to associate the specific sounds with a specific letter or word. But though a dyslexic child may have difficulty in reading, writing, drawing, singing, etc. it is important to note that a child with dyslexia has normal vision, hearing and intelligence.
The symptoms vary from child to child, and can range from mild to severe over time. Also, in minor cases, the diagnosis may not be made and the condition can remain unrecognized for long periods of time.
- Delay in speaking/talking when compared to other children.
- Difficulty in learning alphabets, words, sentences.
- Difficulty in learning nursery rhymes.
- Poor performance In school.
- Poor reading skills.
- Difficulty in comprehending rapid instructions.
- Confusing the letters ‘b’ and ‘d’ or numbers such as ‘6’ and ‘9.’
- Problems in pronunciation of words.
- Problems in handwriting.
- Difficulty in learning a second or third language.
- Difficulty in solving mathematical problems.
It is very difficult to spot problems in the pre-school period. However, the symptoms become more obvious once the child starts attending school. So, the class teacher may be the first person to notice the symptoms of dyslexia It is important to recognize it as early as possible, because if the condition remains undiagnosed and untreated the problem can carry on in adulthood too.
Cause Of Dyslexia
The underlying cause of dyslexia seems to be genetic, as it tends to run in families. The genetic predisposition affects that part of the brain that is involved with language and speech.
- The most obvious problem is poor scholastic performance. Also, the child is unable to keep up with his/ her peers.
- Poor performance at school and studies may lead to low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, social and behavioural problems. Peers and classmates may mock dyslexic children. Children with dyslexia also have a higher risk of getting attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
- Poor studies may prevent the child from reaching his/her full potential, preventing him/her from achieving their goals. And this can prevent kids from getting the occupation they desire, leading to financial problems in adulthood.
Management Of Dyslexia
As dyslexia is a genetic problem, we need to understand that there is no cure for it. No medications or surgery can cure dyslexia. However, with proper evaluation and treatment, most children can be well managed.
- The child should be taken to a neurologist who will take a detailed history of birth, early development, motor and language skills, etc. A detailed neurological examination will also be done to exclude any neurological disease. Reading and writing skills should also be checked.
- It needed, conditions such as thyroid disease may be excluded by blood tests.
- Brain scan and EEG may be done in selected cases.
- The mainstay of treatment is specialized teaching and training. It is important to realize that more time and efforts are needed for dyslexic children to adjust. Special teaching would emphasize each letter, number and parts of words. Subsequently, smaller sentences and then bigger sentences. Also, it is a continuous process and dyslexic children need a lot of encouragement to succeed.
Most children with dyslexia have normal intelligence and are able to excel later in life
Long-Term Outcome Of Dyslexia Most children with dyslexia, who are properly managed, do well in future. Since they have normal intelligence, they are able to excel later in life. Who can forget lshaan in the film ‘Taare Zameen Par’? He was thought to be a failure in his conventional school so he was sent to a boarding school. And here, his art teacher recognized his talent and the resulting success in lshaan’s life was well documented In the film.
So, it is the joint responsibility of the parents and the medical fraternity to recognize dyslexia in children early on and to provide the best treatments to them as psychological and moral support for these children is essential for the best outcomes.