Children With Dyslexia Have Strengths Too #A2ZChallenge

When letters are introduced many children tend to reverse their letters while reading and writing. But did you know that reversing letters is not a sure sign of dyslexia and not all children with dyslexia reverse their letters?

Two years back my little one would often get confused with the b’s and d’s. My husband would often question me, “why does she get confused, is everything fine”. A lot of children get confused in these when they start learning their alphabets. As time passed by, she also got over this.

It is very common for children to get confused with letters. Many get over this but some don’t. These children may have a learning disability. The only time we came so close to learning disabilities was when ‘Taare Zameen Par’ released. The little boy does not understand numbers and is confused with letters is always belittled by his friends and teachers. But the little boy has a hidden talent which no one is aware of. Since one size does not fit all, similarly the same education system cannot be used for everyone.

One of the most common learning disability is Dyslexia. This is a neurobiological brain difference, where the child’s ability to control language is affected to read, write and spell. Children with dyslexia are smart and have trouble with joining the letters to the sounds the letters make.

Did you know: 1 in 5 of all people worldwide have dyslexia Click To Tweet

Causes of dyslexia:

To some extent, the condition is genetic. If a child is struggling to read, chances are that a parent has dyslexia. This condition starts from the differences by the part of the brain which is responsible for processing language. In a dyslexic child, this area does not work properly.

When letters are introduced to children, their phonics are also introduced. The phonics helps a child to make out the sound the letter makes like B produces “buh” sound, M produces “em” sound. Once they are clear with the sounds then they arrange the sounds to form the words … like R-A-T becomes “rat”.

But in children with dyslexia, the part of the brain responsible has a rather hard time figuring out the sounds the letters make. Since they don’t recognise the sounds they are not able to blend the letters. They often land up mixing the spellings and might read “rat” as “tar”.

Source: Decoding Dyslexia TN

Difficulties and Strengths of Dyslexia:

Since the signs appear as early as preschool, it is important as a parent or a teacher to know what to look for. Sally Shaywicz, the author of Overcoming Dyslexia, says that there are many signs as well as strengths of dyslexia. Here is what to look out for in the early years through school:

Preschool:

  • Has trouble in learning the common nursery rhymes
  • Has difficulty in remembering names of the alphabets
  • Do not recognise the letters of their own name
  • Have difficulty in recognising rhyming words like rat, bat, cat

Kindergarten and Grade First: Here I shall discuss both the difficulties and strengths:

Difficulties:

  • Errors in reading and no connection to the sounds of the letters. Example, On a page illustrated with a picture of a cat, will say ‘kitten’ instead of the written word ‘cat’
  • Do not have an idea that the words can be broken down
  • Run away from their reading time as they find reading difficult
  • Has problems in reading simple words like nap, cat, map, lap
  • Has a problem in connecting the letter with their sounds

Strengths:

  • These children are curious
  • Very creative with a great imagination
  • They have the potential to find how things work
  • They understand new concepts
  • Love to solve puzzles
  • Show an interest in building models like Lego
  • They have a good grasp of the stories which are told or read out to them

Grade 2 to High School:

Difficulties:

  • Reading: These children read in an awkward and slow manner. Since they cannot associate the sound of the letter they land up making guesses when reading unfamiliar words. They avoid reading loudly.
  • Speaking: These children hesitate while speaking. They use a lot of “um’s” in their conversation. They often confuse words that sound similar, like ocean and lotion. They take extra time to answer questions and mispronounce unfamiliar or complicated words.
  • The Difficulty at School and in Daily Life: They have a hard time remembering names, dates and phone numbers. They often grapple through a test with spelling mistakes and dirty handwriting. They suffer from low self-esteem.

Strengths:

  • They have a good idea about conceptualization, reasoning, imagination, abstraction
  • They learn best through meaning rather than cramming
  • They always see the bigger picture
  • Have a higher level of understanding and reading words especially in their area of interest
  • They have a good listening vocabulary
  • Do well in subjects where reading is not required. Like math, visual arts and computers

Dyslexia In India

As per the Dyslexia Association of India, about 10-15% of school going children suffer from dyslexia. This accounts for almost 35 million children. It is not restricted to the language English but happens in all languages. The fact that our country is multilingualism also affects the difficulty.

Since there is a lack of awareness among parents and teachers, most of the times dyslexia goes undiagnosed in India. To overcome this gap a tool has been developed by National Brain Research Centre (NBRC) keeping in mind the ‘Make in India’ and Skill Development’ policy. The tool known as Dyslexia Assessment in Languages of India (DALI), is a package that contains screening tools for teachers and assessment tools for psychologists. This is for the first time that India has developed assessment and screening tools which are standardized and validated. The tool is available in English, Hindi, Kannada and Marathi. Development of other languages is under process.

Source: Decoding Dyslexia TN

Also Read:

Theme Reveal, A – Autism, B – Bronchiolitis, C – Celiac Disease, E – Eating Disorders, F – Fever, G – GERD, H – Hand Foot And Mouth Disease (HFMD), I – Imaginary Friends, J – Juvenile Arthritis, K – Kawasaki Disease, L – Leukaemia, M – Meningitis, N – Neuroblastoma, O – Omphalitis, P – Pica, Q – Q Fever, R – Retinoblastoma, S – SIDS, T – Tetanus, U – Urinary Tract Infection, V – Vomiting, W – Wilms’ Tumour, X – Xeroderma Pigmentosum, Y – Year-Round Allergies, Z – Zika Virus

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Shubhra Rastogi Written by:

Well, about me I can say that I am a certified dentist, healthcare analyst, medical writer and above all a mother of a 6-year-old. Most of my day to day activities revolve around her and she is my inspiration to start this blog. As a mother, I experimented with a lot of new things for my little one in a quest to find the best for her. I just want to share my experiences of being a happy and content mum.

19 Comments

  1. April 4, 2019
    Reply

    I wish our education system provides the support to the teachers to identify the strengths of the dyslexic kid. But unfortunately no one really tries to understands them

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 4, 2019
      Reply

      Wish that our education system didn’t have one size fit all because every child is different.

  2. April 4, 2019
    Reply

    Thank you for raising awareness through your blog. There are so many ailments we don’t know about. First challenge is how do we know someone is dyslexic? Because person probably does not know that he has a problem.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 4, 2019
      Reply

      Thank you. A difficulty in reading and writing, reversing letters and getting confused with the mirror images of letters are signs of dyslexia. Also these days tools help to figure out pretty early.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 4, 2019
      Reply

      Thank you

  3. April 4, 2019
    Reply

    A very informative and useful post on a disorder that is only now beginning to get noticed for the number of people it affects. As you say, after the movie Tare Zameen Par people have sat up and taken notice of this affliction.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 4, 2019
      Reply

      Rightly said. Thanks for visiting by.

  4. April 4, 2019
    Reply

    Such an important topic to speak about. I hope youe posts bring about the much needed awareness on these matters.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 4, 2019
      Reply

      Yes indeed. I also wish that my posts bring out a positive change.

  5. April 4, 2019
    Reply

    Glad to read your posts. 30 years ago my nephew had dyslexia and I recognised the problem but my Brother-in-law refused to believe me and forced the kid to study all the time ignoring his problem. #blogchatterA2Z

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 4, 2019
      Reply

      Oh, that is so sad. He must have had such a hard time. I hope he got help and support from the family.

  6. April 4, 2019
    Reply

    This is such an important and informative post, Shubhra. Thanks for sharing the difficulties and strengths of dyslexic kids in various age-groups so clearly. Learnt something new today. Thanks!

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 4, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks for visiting by Shilpa!

  7. April 4, 2019
    Reply

    Great post, spreading awareness and knowledge, will agree that after taare zameen par at least people have come out of the closet and takin git positively.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 4, 2019
      Reply

      Agree that people have started recognising it now…

  8. April 5, 2019
    Reply

    I have a similar problem, called “auditory processing disorder.” I didn’t know that I had it when I went to school. I just thought that I started out smart and ended up stupid, as if my brain had been hijacked. I taught myself to read before I started school but, in school, I could not do the phonics drills and didn’t understand why we had to make those odd noises. Later on, I found that I had to have people read unfamiliar words to me because I couldn’t sound them out. Fortunately, I have a great visual memory so I can recognize words as if they were pictures. They don’t break apart for me because they are word pictures, not sounds. I read them as entire words.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 5, 2019
      Reply

      I am glad that you have overcome this so successfully.

  9. April 6, 2019
    Reply

    The lack of vegetables in our daily food may also constitute serious health problems like this. to prevent this, we should include more fruits and vegetables in our diet.

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