Learning difficulties – Dyslexia
Dyslexia is a special learning –ιδιαίτερα μαθήματα– difficulty and is a difficulty in processing written speech. The student has difficulty reading, writing and spelling. Dyslexia occurs mainly in boys.
There may be an inherited predisposition and an organic cause, where learning functions are affected. Dyslexia is not due to neurological, sensory impairment and low mental capacity. Also, it is not due to psychological problems and emotional disorders, as well as to adverse environmental conditions.
But dyslexia can coexist with these disorders. Dyslexia occurs when a child begins to read and write and usually manifests in the first grades of primary school. However, there are indications in preschool age, such as children with language retardation and slow speech development, children who have difficulty learning and low phonological awareness skills.
Other factors are difficulty in motor coordination, distraction, difficulty in orientation and difficulties in memory (eg do not remember poems, songs, names of friends, teacher).
It is a chronic condition, without a known etiology, involving neurological factors and requires individualized intervention. In simple Greek … the learning functionality of the dyslexic can be improved.
According to the International Dyslexia Association, dyslexia:
- It is a chronic condition.
- It has an unknown reason.
- Involves neurological factors.
- It is not cured as a disease.
- It needs a detailed evaluation.
- Needs personalized intervention.
- Dyslexic learning functionality can be improved.
Dyslexia is a condition of neurodevelopmental differentiation that causes difficulties in learning to read, write or even spell. Difficulties remain even though the individual has received appropriate educational opportunities, is inconsistent with cognitive abilities and does not prescribe performance in other areas. The degree to which dyslexia acts as a barrier to learning varies from person to person, depending on the learning and teaching environment:
Dyslectic children are affected by:
- Audio and visual processing of linguistic information.
- Phonological awareness
- Language skills and reading fluency
- Short-term working memory
- Long working memory
- Sequence and direction skill
- Spatio-temporal skill
- Metacognitive skill
- Numerical skill
- Organizational skill
Their difficulties arise from the different way in which they receive and process information, thus influencing the way they communicate and which is different for each person.
Dyslexia is found in all cultures, in all socio-economic environments. It is a lifelong, inherited and neurodevelopmental condition.
Undiagnosed dyslexia, but also inadequately treatable within school and in the family environment can lead to low self-esteem, high stress, and informal behaviors and low performance.
Students with dyslexia will benefit from early diagnosis, appropriate intervention, and targeted effective teaching. All of the above will enable them to become successful students, effective researchers, confident individuals, and responsible citizens.
The symptoms of dyslexia are:
Reading: slow reading, spelling, without ease and meaningful reading. Children may skip an entire line while reading and have difficulty understanding the text.
In reading and writing there are omissions, substitutions, shifts and additions of letters, syllables or words.
Writing: there are many spelling mistakes and it is difficult to automate grammar rules.
Characteristic is the mirror writing e.g. “NATO” instead of “when”. There are many gaps in the child’s writing or the spaces between the words, the capitals and the punctuation marks are absent.
Children make a lot of smudges and there is a bad graphic character. They find it difficult to copy words and sentences correctly. Children with dyslexia have difficulty processing stimuli, orientation, sequence perception, concentration and attention.
They have difficulty organizing the study and adhering to a schedule. They may have difficulty with short-term, visual and auditory memory, information retrieval and phonological awareness. They can express themselves succinctly and make semantic mistakes. They are likely to have numeracy, ie difficulty in arithmetic.
Diagnosis of learning difficulties – Dyslexia
The diagnosis is made by an interdisciplinary team consisting of a speech therapist, a special pedagogue and a psychologist. Weighted and non-weighted tests are administered to assess the child’s school performance.
Reading, writing, spelling, text comprehension, vocabulary and arithmetic are assessed.
Also, weighted diagnostic tools are provided by the psychologist, in order to evaluate the skills that are necessary for the acquisition of school learning, such as perception, mental ability and memory. In order to be diagnosed with dyslexia, there must be a difference between mental capacity and school performance.
Treatment of learning difficulties – Dyslexia
The specialist intervenes in the symptoms related to reading, spelling and writing and the student improves in the areas he lags behind, through special teaching methods, strategy development and study organization.
During the educational program, the comprehension of the texts, the enrichment of the vocabulary, the organization of the written word should be cultivated, while emphasis should be given to the psychological support of the students to strengthen the self-confidence, in order to avoid secondary emotional difficulties.
Children with dyslexia will benefit from the support of an extra tutor at thome or at school. If you wish to find one you should look into tutors.gr. This is an online platform where you can meet teachers and book your classes. You can schedule a private, group or an even online private courses!