Dyslexia does not include only reading difficulties, but may also involve reading comprehension problems later. There are different types of dyslexia such as dyspraxia (balance), dyscalculia (math/number sense), and dysgraphia (hand writing). Also involved could be ADD/ADHD, auditory processing disorder (earinfections ), and vision.
Speaking of vision, if your child should have problems reading, please have your child’s eyes checked with a pediatric eye doctor. The eye scans that are provided free within the school systems do catch some eye problems but not all.
We found out when JT was in second grade that he was far-sighted. No wonder he had problems in K4 when it came to writing or reading. JT actually thought that God made all books with bugs to crawl around on the pages so people wouldn’t get bored while reading; and that sometimes the letters danced around with the bugs.
One boy I met had 20/20 vision but failed in the visual perception area. After wearing glasses for only two years, his reading problem was corrected.
Dyslexia is one of the most misunderstood learning styles when it is just a difference in thinking style. Dyslexics usually have a highly developed visual side and have the ability to perceive things in 3D; which is great for some things, but is a problem with the written word.
Just think if Albert Einstein was graded on his written word and not where his imagination and problem-solving took him. One of the world’s best-known dyslexics, Einstein developed his theory of relativity as a result of imagining himself riding on a beam of light.
Dyslexics can have images go through their brain at 32 pictures per second, much faster than word thinking, which can only manage four to five words per second.
Dyslexics aren’t always aware of their picture thinking skills, as they are taught in K3 through third grade to sit down, be still and quiet, and try to write the letters of the alphabet. No wonder some kids are thought to be ADD/ADHD. Maybe daycares and early childhood programs should go back to the way Montessori schools teach, which involves playing games, acting out plays, walking the balance beam, practicing left and right sides, and not until first grade do they start writing the letters of the alphabet.
Remember, what works for one dyslexic child may not work with the other one; as specific dyslexia symptoms are different for every child. However, research shows that teaching techniques that include “multi-sensory” and “language-based” techniques do reach most dyslexics’ visual-thinking minds. Multi-sensory and assistive technology methods may be found at www.hettiejohnson.com or www.alscottishritelearningcenters.com.
For more information on free dyslexia testing, call Scottish Rite Learning Centers at (205) 365-1640. Also, find a support group and talk about dyslexia with other parents. Helpful sites are www.interdys.org or www.idaalabama.org.
Register for parents or teachers to attend the ALIDA 2011 Winter Conference in January which will cover reading and math strategies. If you would like to share your story of dyslexic struggles/survival, please do so by email to dyslexic.Iam@live.com.