Dyslexia is a disorder that affects many, many people worldwide. It is difficult to understand if you don’t suffer from it or haven’t seen someone struggle with it. There are many misunderstandings surrounding Dyslexia and students need the support of the people around them in order to get through school.
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a condition that is signified by a difficulty to read and write despite intelligence and educational opportunity. People with dyslexia face many struggles in society as the ability to read and write is necessary for every part of life. Dyslexia is an inherited condition which interferes with the ability to process and acquire language. This, in turn, affects other areas of life and educational ability.
Dyslexia does not equal Dumb!
A dyslexic student struggles with processing the language they see and hear. Written words are difficult for the child to understand as they see it differently to the way everyone else does. Just because they can’t read it doesn’t mean they don’t know the word, but in a test situation or in a class room, this can be detrimental to their experience at school. Most schools rely on reading and writing in order to assess the child’s ability. This means that a child with dyslexia is immediately disadvantaged.
People with dyslexia struggle to recognize the sounds within words. Phonics are difficult especially with letter combinations that change the sound a letter makes. Teaching a dyslexic child to read is difficult but it is possible and many dyslexic children go on to live “normal” lives.
Understanding the Dyslexic Student
Dyslexic students are not dumb. In fact, many dyslexic students have above average IQ and strengths in other areas. Given the disability or disorder they have, their strength may lie in artistic ability or physical; activities that require less language processing.
Teachers and other people involved with a dyslexic student need to recognize that the student has a life-long disorder and that there is no cure. They need to work out that dyslexia is a neurologically based learning disability.
Teachers need to realize that the dyslexic student doesn’t see things the same way other students do and they need to encourage the student to do their best no matter what. Teachers and other professionals need to work out an education plan based on the child’s learning style and skills in order for the student to succeed at school. Teachers need to create learning experiences for the dyslexic child that draws on their strengths and enables them to learn without highlighting their disability.