What is Dyslexia?
The term “dyslexia” is used to describe a condition whereby someone of normal intelligence struggles to read. The precise way in which the condition is experienced varies. For example, people may have problems with spelling, reading, writing, and so forth. The severity of the condition also varies, and some people with a mild form of the condition can develop compensatory behaviors, making it harder to identify them. Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in the world, impacting on up to 7% of the population. It is more easily diagnosed in countries where the language is less regularly phonetic than English, posing more challenges in terms of language acquisition.
Dyslexia in Children
Children sometimes show early signs of the condition, with delayed speech and difficulty telling left from right. Dyslexia signs can also co-exist with other learning disorders, such as ADHD. Often people may have the feeling that something is wrong, but are not sure what the problem is.
Dyslexia can lead to a great deal of emotional distress in young people at school, who are frustrated by the disconnect between their intelligence level and their reading abilities, and often by their relative failure to progress. If their condition is not treated adequately, distress can continue in later life, as dyslexia can cause problems in terms of work and career progression. In general, the earlier it is diagnosed, the better the educational outcome, and the lower the incidence of emotional distress related to the condition.
Everyone is different, and it is not always easy to figure out why one person has dyslexia and another doesn’t. Sometimes it is hereditary, and research indicates that there can be both genetic and environmental inputs. Dyslexia in adults may occur after suffering a stroke or trauma. Either way, the first step to treatment is a clear diagnosis, giving you the knowledge to make the necessary steps moving forward.
Empowering Students with Dyslexia
Unfortunately, our current education system is generally not equipped to look after dyslexic students, with few schools having the specialist teachers needed to provide proper support. Because of this, dyslexic students often become the odd one out amongst their peers and have a low sense of self-esteem as a result. However, students wuth dyslexia can not only fit in, but flourish in the right environment. What they need above all else, is to feel empowered, which you can support them with by following some of the steps below:
Getting A Proper Diagnosis and Support
Although suggesting a diagnosis might seem tenuous for a dyslexic student, unless you have properly identified the condition, you simply can’t respond to their needs in a person-centred way. If your child has been the recipient of additional teaching support but is still struggling to make progress, having them assessed by a qualified educational psychologist and child psychologist will help you gain a better idea of where they lie on the spectrum of dyslexia. From there, you will be able to make a much more informed decision about the kind of specialised support needed. This can include appropriate schooling, and any out of hours tutoring. Doing so will allow your dyslexic child and/or student to work at their own pace, building their confidence and developing as any other child would into a confident adult.
Show Faith Their Abilities/Stay Positive
If you’re in the care of a dyslexic student who’s struggling with specific tasks or aspects of social etiquette, although you might feel the need to correct them on the spot, doing so isn’t always the best way to guide them. You could instead choose to be the example for them to follow on future occasions rather than reminding them of their inability to perform at every turn. Given that dyslexic students may already be lacking in confidence, hearing those kinds of correcting remarks might cut deeper than you think. You stand a much better chance of having your student respond to you by showing trust in them and acknowledging when they’ve performed well by using positive reinforcement. By teaching in this way and through leading by example, you allow them to keep their dignity, and also make use of their capacity to learn through observation, which through consistent repetition will help boost their self-esteem and their ability to solve increasingly complex tasks.
Give Them The Opportunity To Make Decisions/Act Independently
Enough though a dyslexic student might not have the same academic ability as others, this certainly doesn’t mean they’re incapable of achievement in other areas. It is often the case that their talents will lie elsewhere, and they only need little time for them to surface. Getting them involved in any form of decision-making process or activity that promotes independent thought is a great way to help your student feel empowered by the inclusion it offers, which will turn boost their confidence. This includes giving them the chance to lead by taking charge of organisational tasks, as well as encouraging them to solve their own problems. Possibly the best the way of getting your student to feel more empowered is by involving them in the arts. As these activities generally don’t rely as much on literacy skills, it can serve as a powerful form of self-expression, which can otherwise be lacking.
Dyslexia Assessment for Adults and Children
The first step to managing dyslexia is to get a diagnosis. We can provide patients with a proven dyslexia assessment that will provide clarity, and that they can use to make arrangements at work, college or school to mitigate the impact of the condition on performance and outcomes.
You will first be interviewed by Dr Letizia De Mori who will go over your concerns, questions and personal/developmental history. For the second part of the session, you will use a computerised program that will screen for dyslexia risk. This computerised assessment usually lasts for 30 minutes.
The second part of the session will involve the use of one more testing tool and self-report scales. At this session, we will also look into other potential triggers that may be interfering with your learning processes or academic/professional work (e.g. anxiety, low-mood). The therapist will then produce a report in order to better determine the viability of a dyslexia diagnosis.
Dr Letizia De Mori, regardless of the result, will produce a letter merging the results from the assessment and personal history. The letter also gives recommendations as to what would be the best steps to take moving forwards depending on the results. Alternatively, you may request for a verbal feedback session instead of a letter; please note that no written document is given during these sessions. Regardless of whether you choose to have a letter back or a verbal feedback session, the fee is quoted the same. If you requested a letter and wish to amend any factual or grammatical details of your letter (within what the practitioner considers helpful) they will be able to do so as a one off. Any further amendments will be charged.
How Can I Book a Dyslexia Assessment?
Van Blarcum, Jan. (2011). Empowering the Dyslexic Student. Retrieved on 9th June, 2019, from: Link
National Health Service. (Jul 30th 2017). Retrieved on 9th June, 2019, from: Link
British Psychological Society. (June 2001). Retrieved on 9th June, 2019, from: Link
Enquire. (Nov 14th 2017). Retrieved on 9th June, 2019, from: Link
Learning Ally. (Dec 7th 2015). Retrieved on 9th June, 2019, from: Link
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