What is Dyslexia
The dyslexic brain simply thinks in a different way
Contrary to what many people believe, most people with dyslexia are very bright. Dyslexia is a learning difference that often causes difficulty with learning and spelling. Not being able to read well can make many areas of learning a problem. And, because most schools do not test or teach appropriately for dyslexics, dyslexia is often referred to as a specific reading disability or disorder. In fact, Dyslexia actually provides many incredible abilities, which enable dyslexics to see things in a completely different way and help them excel.
Experts know that dyslexia is hereditary. Scientists have identified the exact genes involved. Through brain scans, scientists have learned that language for dyslexic is processed primarily in their right-brain instead of the left-brain, which was designed for this. Hence it might take a dyslexic up to six times more time and energy to process language whether in the form of reading, writing or speaking.
Because of the way the dyslexic brain is wired, many dyslexics have particular gifts that their non-dyslexic counterparts do not have.
For futher information please refer to the book written by Brock and Fernette Eide, “The Dyslexic Advantage”. dyslexicadvantage.com
Symptoms of Dyslexia
Below is a Classroom checklist;
Remember that dyslexia comes in many forms and one student may display quite different characteristics from another.
Quiet and reluctant to answer questions
Invisible, or wishes they were, in the classroom
The best helper, work avoider, in the class.
May show anxiety or be overly stressed about a particular subject.
Seems to cope well and understands work but unable to translate that into written work
Is often very articulate but has poor writing
Intelligent but has problems with reading, writing or spelling.
Often confuses the right from the left.
Intelligent but does not test well or has severe anxiety about testing.
Seems to daydream or zone out when in a classroom or meeting scenario.
Learns best by ‘hands on’ training rather than verbal or written instruction.
Sees movement of letters on a page whether reading or writing.
Reads and re-reads without much comprehension.
Has difficulty spelling
Has challenges putting thoughts into words
Difficulty with writing or copying.
Tends to hold a pen or pencil differently or very tightly
Handwriting is hard to read.
Has difficulty with large or fine motor skills.
Has difficulty reading time on a traditional clock.
Has time management problems.
Tends to be a procrastinator.
Tends to be good at math calculations but word problems are very difficult.
Tends to be disorderly or extremely orderly.
These are only a guideline but when questioning yourself about a students surprising underachievement, it could be used a checklist as a possible prompt.
Remember one size never fits all, each student will need their own set of adaptations, that matches they specific presentation of dyslexia, but could include:
A variety of assessment options –
written, verbal, physical, multi sensory
Seating in class- Most will do better at the front of the class with less distractions
Extra time and a quiet space to sit tests
Printed notes handed out or photographed off the board.
Adaptive Technology and taught how to use it .
Your understanding, support and belief in the child will actually do more than all the adaptation can. They are not making it up, being lazy, or want to be naughty, they really want to please you and do well. These behaviours arise from experiencing continual failure, coupled with developing low self esteem, with no end in sight or possible way of stopping it.
Would you like to experience what it feels like to write as if you have Dyslexia?
Ready to try this for yourself? Get out a clean sheet of photocopy paper and a pencil and try the activity along with the students in the video. Good luck!
Would you like to experience what it feels like to read aloud as if you have Dyslexia?
Watch the video to experience non-dyslexic readers trying to read dyslexically.
Want to have a go yourself? Click here!
Would you like to experience what it feels like to decode as if you have Dyslexia?
Click through these slides to experience what it is like for non-dyslexic readers trying to read dyslexically.
If you are really brave try doing it with an audience!!! I dare you
Have a go yourself? Click here!