Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disabilities that is found in children and it can be seen to occur throughout the child’s lifetime. Dyslexia is a learning disability in children who fail to grasp learning skills such as reading, writing and spelling despite their high level of intelligence. The symptoms of dyslexia ranges from mild to severe.
At the early stages of a child’s development, dyslexia can be difficult to diagnose, and this can lead to the frustration of a child during his or her learning process. Kids with dyslexia have been seen to have a high level of intelligence but then they find it difficult to translate that level of intelligence into their learning process.
Dyslexia is caused by the inability of the brain to translate or process phonemes. Phonemes are gotten as the smallest unit of a word that separates different words and makes each word unique to itself.
Dyslexia can be classified as a neurobiological learning disability. It is characterized by difficulties in learning and speech recognition and also difficulties in spellings. Dyslexia affects the part of the brain associated with learning.
Most kids with dyslexia often need extra tutoring and coaching before they can grasp things. They usually have a very good vision. The exact cause of dyslexia varies with the different types of dyslexia that we have.
Note: Dyslexia is not due to mental retardation or lack of intelligence neither is it due to brain damage, but it is simply due to the inability of the brain to process phonemes. There are different types of dyslexia and they are different in terms of causes and symptoms. They include:
Primary dyslexia is the most common type of dyslexia seen among children. It causes due to the malfunctioning of the left side of the cerebral cortex found in the brain. This doesn’t change with age.
When treating this kind of dyslexia, there are different variabilities to be considered in terms of how severe it is. Some are not so severe while the others are more severe. Children with the kind of primary dyslexia that is not so severe can be helped educationally and they have been seen to do exploits academically with extra coaching and tutoring.
Those with the more severe form of dyslexia however may not be so lucky. They continue with the struggle of reading, learning, writing and also spelling perhaps all through their adult lives. Primary dyslexia is a genetic disorder and it is hereditary. This means that if anyone down the family line had/has primary dyslexia, there is a tendency that anyone from that generation and lineage might end up also having primary dyslexia.
Researchers have identified some specific genes identified to contribute to the cause of primary dyslexia. Primary dyslexia is most commonly seen in the males than in females.
It is also known as developmental dyslexia. This kind of dyslexia is caused by severe problems gotten from brain development while the child was still in the womb. If there were problems or severe trauma during pregnancy which in any way altered the development of the brain, then there is a tendency of the foetus having secondary dyslexia.
Most of the time, secondary dyslexia tend to diminish and fade away as the child grows and matures. Just like Primary dyslexia, secondary dyslexia is also seen more in male children than in female children.
This kind of Dyslexia is usually as a result of severe trauma caused to the head, most especially the area of the brain that is associated with reading, writing and learning. This kind of dyslexia though very rare but not uncommon among children.
The symptoms of dyslexia vary and are different among the different stages of human development. This means the symptoms exhibited at each developmental stage is different as the child progresses in life.
- Before the child enrols in school: the child may be experiencing inability to speak early, inability to learn new words or the child may have to learn new words slowly, problems in the formation of words quickly and as at when needed, and difficulty in learning new nursery rhymes.
- When the child enters school: The signs of dyslexia may worsen and become more prominent when the child enters school. The signs that may be experienced by the child includes a reading capability that is below the reading capacity of children of that age, difficulty in processing and also understanding properly what he or she hears, difficulty in forming the right words, difficulty in answering questions, difficulty in remembering or learning sequences, difficulty and inability to distinguish between similar words and different words and also difficulty in spelling.
The child may also experience inability to pronounce unfamiliar words, inability to complete academic tasks especially those that involves reading and writing, and also the child will be seen to always shy or away from academic situations and tasks.
- During the teenage years and young adulthood: Dyslexia signs in this group of people are very much similar to those seen in children. Most teenagers and young adults with dyslexia have the following signs; difficulty in reading, difficulty in the pronunciation of some words, difficulty in spelling of some words, the teenager will often be seen to avoid activities that involves academics most especially in reading and writing, often mispronunciation of words, severe difficulty in the recollection of words, apparent difficulty in memorizing words, troubles summarizing a story and also difficulty in learning a new language.
There are risk factors that can contribute to causing dyslexia or increase its severity and they include:
- Genetics: Genetics is the leading cause of dyslexia. A family history of dyslexia can cause dyslexia in a child.
- Premature babies and babies with low birth Wright also have a higher risk of developing dyslexia.
- Excessive Smoking and drinking during pregnancy can interfere with the development of the brain and cause dyslexia.
Complications caused by dyslexia include:
- Social problems: Children with dyslexia can develop severe problems such as low self-esteem, inability to fit in, behavioural problems, aggression, anxiety, intense fear, tendency to withdraw from friends and family, and sometimes depression.
- As an adult, he or she would experience long time educational problems, social problems and also relationship and interaction problems.
- They may have other medical problems such as ADHD, dysgraphia, auditory processing disorder, and developmental coordination order all caused by dyslexia.
Before a child can be treated, he or she must be properly diagnosed. For parents with wards experiencing symptoms of dyslexia, the parent should take his or her child to see a doctor for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
Note: It may not be your child’s fault that he or she is having difficulty in school, it may be as a result of he or she is having dyslexia.