September 26, 2021
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Dyslexia – some aspects of dyslexia

‘Bear with me, my dear’

A romantic line from an English novel but poor Arjun didn’t understand where the animals came from!

Dyslexia often involves misunderstanding words, mostly by replacing them with a similar word. Most of these words have phonetic undertones – reading ‘read’ as ‘red’ for example. This would, of course, change the meaning of the entire sentence and hinder understanding. People with dyslexia must consciously reverse their brain’s work to make whole sense of the matter.

This is a very tiring process, due to which they lag behind their peers. Some other problems in reading is when the letters of the words switch places – like ‘No’ becomes ‘on’ and ‘Dog’ becomes ‘God’. This is a form of directional dyslexia.

Sometimes, it may even be that the last letters of the words are simply skipped – ‘walking’ becomes ‘walk’, ‘talking’ becomes ‘talk’.

Dyslexic people tend to perceive things visually – on reading a text, they are simultaneously creating a story in their head. This way words and letters get easily mixed up.

There are also certain blank words – abstract words that can’t conjure up an image, words like

‘at’ and ‘unless’ and ‘is’. Such words bring the entire picturization to a stop, such that the dyslexic feels lost in a maze of words.

There are ways for sentences to be framed such that a dyslexic person can read it a bit more easily – by avoiding phonetics and abstract words and adding more visual elements – however this is easier said, than done.

Facts and myths about Dyslexia –

Dyslexia is a heavily misunderstood disorder. Due to its portrayal in movies, in books and media, it is seen as something it is not. It is necessary for us to be aware of the negative and wrong myths of dyslexia. Some myths and their subsequent facts are – Myth) People with dyslexia are not working hard enough:

This is the most negative and demeaning myth of them all. Dyslexia is a learning disorder. It takes work and effort to minimize its effects. The fact that people believe that dyslexia is just a man-made issue and it doesn’t exist is insensitive. Sadly, many people think that it is just an excuse to be lazy, which highlights the importance of awareness. Dyslexia is a learning disorder, which is exhausting for the child and must be seen seriously.

Myth) More boys have dyslexia than girls:

Dyslexia is not a gender specific disorder, nor are there any studies that indicate its inclination towards one gender. Then, why is it that more boys are diagnosed than girls? This is because dyslexia cause frustration and anger in the classroom. Generally, boys react to this stress by acting out while girls quieten. Teachers and parents are this way, able to identify dyslexia in boys faster.

Myth) Dyslexic children shouldn’t be given extra help in school:

This is a very common complaint – that teachers don’t cut marks for spellings in their answer sheets, or they get extra time. And as students, this may seem unfair. However, it is important to remember that they already have an edge over children with learning disorders, and for the educational system to be equal and just, it is necessary for children with dyslexia be provided with extra help and time, so that they don’t lag behind others. For students with dyslexia, the content in their answer sheet is always more important than the spellings. Such steps ensure holistic and collective development of society.

There are the most common myths about dyslexia, especially in India. Dispelling these myths and understanding the facts of this learning disorder is very important. No one should give in or believe in such myths that demean or hurt people with dyslexia.

Article by

Malavika Nair

Pic Courtesy: google/ images are subject to copyright

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