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What is dyslexia?

I watched an NTA documentary recently about a primary school girl suffering from dyslexia. Please enlighten me about it? Ekene U. Dyslexia is a specific…

I watched an NTA documentary recently about a primary school girl suffering from dyslexia. Please enlighten me about it?
Ekene U.

Dyslexia is a specific reading disability due to a defect in the brain’s processing of graphic symbols. It is a learning disability that alters the way the brain processes written material. It is typically characterized by difficulties in word recognition, spelling and decoding. People with dyslexia have problems with reading comprehension.
Dyslexia is a neurological and often genetic condition, and not the result of poor teaching, instruction or upbringing. Dyslexia is not linked to intelligence. The problem of dyslexia is a linguistic one, not a visual one.
Signs and symptoms
•    Learning to read – the child, despite having normal intelligence and receiving proper teaching and parental support, has difficulty learning to read.
•    Milestones reached later – the child learns to crawl, walk, talk, throw or catch things, ride a bicycle later than the majority of other kids.
•    Speech – apart from being slow to learn to speak, the child commonly mispronounces words, finds rhyming extremely challenging, and does not appear to distinguish between different word sounds.
•    Slow at learning sets of data – at school the child takes much longer than the other children to learn the letters of the alphabet and how they are pronounced. There may also be problems remembering the days of the week, months of the year, colors, and some arithmetic tables.
•    Reversal – numbers and letters may be reversed without realizing.
•    Spelling – may not follow a pattern of progression seen in other children. The child may learn how to spell a word today, and completely forget the next day. One word may be spelt in a variety of ways on the same page.
•    Phonology problems – phonology refers to the speech sounds in a language. If a word has more than two syllables, phonology processing becomes much more difficult. For example, with the word “unfortunately” a person with dyslexia may be able to process the sounds “un” and “ly”, but not the ones in between.
What causes dyslexia?
1.    Some evidence points to a possibility that the condition is inherited, as dyslexia often runs in families.
2.    Acquired dyslexia; a small minority of people with dyslexia acquired the condition after they were born. The most common causes of acquired dyslexia are brain injuries, stroke or some other type of trauma.
Diagnosing dyslexia
If a parent, guardian or teacher suspects a child may have dyslexia, a professional evaluation can lead to a better understanding of the problem and will more likely lead to effective treatment.
Other diagnostic test should be done:
•    Background information.
•    Intelligence.
•    Oral language skills.
•    Word recognition.
•    Decoding – the ability to read new words by using letter-sound knowledge.
•    Phonological processing.
•    Automaticity/fluency skills.
•    Reading comprehension.
•    Vocabulary knowledge.
•    Family history and early development.
Treatment options
•    It is important for family members and the person with dyslexia to remember that DYSLEXIA IS NOT A DISEASE. We live in a society where reading and writing are integral parts of everyday life – interventions that help people with dyslexia are aimed at improving their coping skills.
•    Currently no “cure” for dyslexia. There are,however, a range of specialist and well-targeted interventions that can help children and adults improve their reading and writing skills.
•    The majority of children diagnosed with dyslexia will only need to miss a few hours of their regular school classes each week to receive specialist educational support, which may consist of one-on-one teaching or small-group classes.
•    In some cases, if the dyslexia is severe, moving the child to a specialist school may be advised.
•    The sooner a child is diagnosed and receives support, the more likely he or she will achieve long-term improvements.

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