Imagine if you had a job that involved skills and tasks that you did not know how to perform. You fall behind in your work and your boss expects more out of you. He assumes that you are capable of performing like all the other employees and continue to maintain similar expectations from you. Looking around you see that everyone else is capable of doing these simple tasks but for some reason you’re not able to keep up. Nobody offers training in these skills because they are so commonly performed. And the worst part is that you don’t even realize that you’re lacking these skills either.
It would be pretty frustrating to go to work every day in these conditions right?
This is what some children experience every day when they have dyslexia.
The following tips will help you identify and better understand your dyslexic child.
They read differently than others
The anatomy of a dyslexic child’s brain, specifically in the region that understands language is different than a child without dyslexia. A typical brain will translate words on a page into sounds and then interpret these sounds into meaningful words. The area of the brain that provides this function is not as developed with children that have dyslexia. If the child is not able to compensate with other ways of interpretation through multi-sensory techniques, he will have difficulty in his ability to understand and retain the information.
Words are not seen backwards
Words and letters on a page will appear differently to a child with dyslexia. Sometimes this results in the words being viewed backwards or scrambled but this is not always the case. It is possible that the words can even be moving or appearing and disappearing on the page or changing from light to dark. It is very challenging for children with dyslexia to realize that this is happening as they do not have the perspective of how things should look to them to contrast this with. If you always saw blue as purple you may never become aware of this because you don’t have a reference point of what blue should actually look like. If your child expresses any of these experiences, it is important to validate that it may actually be happening and not ignore it or tell him that he is making things up while you look into the issue properly.
Too many details is overwhelming
Dyslexic children tend to see more holistically rather than particular details. This can be advantageous for them in certain situations, provided that they can overcome the fact that they are missing details. The key to remember is that they see things in a unique way and have to adapt accordingly. Since dyslexic children struggle with the details, tasks that are very detailed become challenging. We usually take for granted the amount of details that are involved with reading or solving math problems. To help dyslexic children not get overwhelmed in these details you can try increasing the spacing of letters and words on the paper and using special fonts that make it easier for them to view the content. Giving them additional time to complete tasks and allowing for more breaks can help them get through the material.
Thinking visually is more natural for them
Dyslexic children find it easier to learn visually with pictures or through hands-on interactive experiences. Reading alone is difficult to acquire the information properly; however, by adding visual links to the words, they are able to process and retain the content better.
They are not lazy or unmotivated
It is very easy to dismiss your child’s inability to keep up with his peers as the result of laziness or lack of motivation. This could not be further from the truth. In reality it is possible that your child is trying much harder than his friends, and yet he is still not able to keep up with them. He is trying to run a race with his feet tied together, and the faster you are able to identify this and teach him how to “hop”, the better off he will be.
Assigning them into the category of dumb and stupid
Similar to believing that they are lazy or unmotivated, it is possible to believe that they are simply just not as smart as the rest of the children. Dyslexia is not a matter of intelligence. In fact there are many people that are dyslexic that have very high IQ’s. Rather, it is the result of perceiving content differently that causes the challenge of keeping up with everyone else. It is crucial to speak with your child about his condition and focus on building his self-esteem in order to allow him to develop the skills to compensate for his difference and be successful.
Lumping dyslexia together as one
Each child is different, and each child with dyslexia is different too. The intensity and scale of his dyslexia as well as his unique personality will determine how to help him overcome this challenge. By working closely with him to understand what tasks are difficult, and which methods can be used to compensate for these difficulties, you are able to help him thrive.
Reading more doesn’t make dyslexia go away
It is a common false belief that an increase in reading activities will make dyslexia go away. Unfortunately dyslexia never goes away. It is a lifelong challenge. The key is to accept this fact and then work towards solutions that allow children to function in society despite their dyslexia. There are many famous and successful people that have dyslexia, and even attribute dyslexia to their success. Every challenge once overcome can become an advantage in life, and with your loving care and support your child can thrive and be happy and successful too.
To learn more how Maxi Mind can help your child with dyslexia get a free consultation today.