Dyslexia in the Classroom

Good afternoon students.

Many people think dyslexia is a simplistic disorder whereby people write letters and numbers backwards. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that was dyslexia’s biggest challenge! Reversed letters and numbers may be a symptom of dyslexia however not every dyslexic person reverses letters, and children in grade school may reverse letters for a number of years and not be dyslexic. Dyslexia is a chronic learning disorder that disrupts a person’s comprehension in being able to read, speak, and spell. There are at least 4 dyslexias that have been identified and lead to significant difficulty with phonological awareness, phonological decoding, orthographic coding, auditory short-term memory.

Got that?  In plainer english dyslexics struggle with reading, reading comprehension and writing. There is also a mathetmatical form of dyslexia known as dyscalculia. These people struggle with comprehending arithmetic, and in number alignment. A dyslexic person might see letters and words move around on a page, or words might change colours. Other dyslexics see text in a highly disjointed manner.

An example of a severely dyslexic grade 2 child’s handwriting.    The story is a copy of the itsy bitsy spider. Click the image to see how much you can read and comprehend the child’s writing. Most dyslexics are highly intelligent. Some are brilliant and lead outstanding lives: Mozart, John F. Kennedy, Leonardo DaVinci, Mohammed Ali, George Clooney, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein,Winston Churchill, the list is endless. It’s hard to argue against a list as impressive as this one.

Where does dyslexia originate? In the left hemisphere in the posterior lobe of the brain. Scientists aren’t entirely certain what is happening in this area. Some science journals simply call it a “glitch” in the brain’s wiring although this doesn’t come close to a true explanation. Dyslexia is either acquired (alexia) or inherited. Often the family of a dyslexic person are very poor readers and writers although they may not be dyslexics. Alexia is due to brain injury or trauma.
video: What is it like to have dyslexia? Animations and illustrations.

Dyslexia is not classified as a learning disability, just as ADHD and ADD are not considered disabilities. They are neurological disorders because they originate in the brain (in the case of ADHD and ADD an imbalance in neurotransmitters seems to be responsible for attention issues). As such the province does not provide funding for dyslexia in the way of assistive technology. Nor does it offer the services of special education teachers who are trained in working with dyslexia. Traditionally schools simply placed dyslexic children into special education programs that were too simplistic for the child’s comphrehension and these children became become bored and frustrated. Lately more school boards are providing special education teachers with training in dyslexia in order to teach dyslexic children techniques in learning how to read and write more fluently. However school boards are not mandated by the Ontario Ministry of Education to provide this service. A shame.
Blog:  The Single Best Time Management Tip Ever

Website:  Discovering Dyslexia  Prezi: The Challenging Gift of Dyslexia

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