Starting a New School Could Be an Opportunity for a Student with Dyslexia.

The summer vacation is almost over, and millions of kids and teenagers will start a new school after their summer activities.

It can be very hard for a kid with dyslexia or dysgraphia to start a new school since he is leaving his comfort zone where he is already familiar with the teachers and classmates.

I believe a student with dyslexia could see a change of school as an opportunity.

In order to make the most, the child and his parents need to sit down and perform a strings and weakness table. You can do it since you already have experience coping with dyslexia and dysgraphia.

The result of the strings and weakness table needs to be an action plan for the first month in school.

The action plan may include all aspects of being a student, for example:

• Social – Making new friends in school.
• Learning – what I need to do in order to succeed in class
• Technology – which assistive technology I need in order to cope with my dyslexia or dysgraphia

Dyslexia symptoms, causes and types of dyslexia

By Melody Cleo

Dyslexia symptoms, causes and types of dyslexia:

Dyslexia refers to a learning disability which is common in children. This disorder makes children find it difficult to write, read spell and sometimes even experience hindrance in speaking. Although the severity of this disorder can range from being mild to severe it can be treated successfully with timely intervention. In many cases owing to the absence of any obvious symptoms Dyslexia goes undetected in many children during their early years. The difficulty faced by such children in being able to learn easily often makes them go through extreme degree of frustration and may show visible signs of being depressed and suffer from low self-esteem.

The Symptoms of Dyslexia:

1. the most common symptom of Dyslexia in a child is his tendency to write numbers and letters in a reversed fashion. While such reversals are quite common in children up to the age of eight, if this problem persists then the child should be tested for Dyslexia.

2. Inability to copy from the book or the board in the classroom is also suggestive of a problem and can be a symptom of Dyslexia.

3. Disorganized writing and failure to be able to retain content of a text is also suggestive of Dyslexia.

4.While Dyslexia is primarily a learning disorder children suffering from this condition may also face significant difficulty in outdoor activities owing to their inability to judge left or right , speed of a moving object or even determining special relationships.

5. Another common symptom of Dyslexia is auditory difficulty. A child suffering from this disorder experiences difficulty in following multiple commands or may even fail to recollect something heard clearly. They also experience issues in being able to express their thoughts clearly through words.

6. One of the most pronounced symptom of Dyslexia is that a child gets confused by words, letters, numbers, sequence and verbal explanation.

7. Apart from the above academic symptoms a child suffering from Dyslexia also exhibits some emotional symptoms like depression, withdrawal symptoms, and low levels of self-confidence and lack of motivation.

Causes and types of Dyslexia:

The following are the different types of Dyslexia which also explains what causes them.

1) Trauma Dyslexia – This type of Dyslexia is a rare scenario where a child suffers from the disorder owing to some injury or trauma in that part of the brain which controls writing and reading.

2) Primary Dyslexia – Primary Dyslexia refers to a kind of dysfunction of the cerebral cortex which is on the left side of the brain. This kind of disorder does not change with the advancement of age and is usually hereditary. Primary Dyslexia is more predominant in boys rather than girls.

3) Development of secondary Dyslexia – Secondary or Development Dyslexia is caused by hormonal development of the foetus in the early stage. This type of Dyslexia diminishes with age and even this is found more in boys than girls.

Dyslexia also hinders several functions like visual Dyslexia and Auditory Dyslexia .Visual Dyslexia leads to a child having difficulty in writing letters properly and often leading to letter reversals and inability to follow the correct sequence while writing. Auditory Dyslexia on the other hand is characterized by the child having difficulty in perceiving the sound of the letters or words correctly.

Hence these are the causes and symptoms of Dyslexia which if identified in children should always be taken seriously. It is important to note that if treated early Dyslexia can be cured easily and it saves the child from going through the unnecessary stress of being unable to go through the learning tasks unlike their peers. Apart from being able to identify the correct time when one should seek medical intervention it is also important to be able to bear the financial expenses of the treatment.

Author Bio:

Melody Cleo is a passionate blogger from Manchester, UK. In her free time, she writes articles on various topics such as technology, gadgets, travel…etc. As of now she is focusing on EHIC, which provides health insurance services for the European people.

Personal Note:

As a life long dyslexic and the founded Ghotit, I started to ask myself is it really important to the individual dyslexic his classification in order to help him study and work?

Diagnosing Dyslexia

The earlier a child with dyslexia is diagnosed, the more effective his/her treatment could be.

Identifying dyslexia

In practice, identifying dyslexia in younger children can be very difficult for both parents and teachers because the signs and symptoms are often subtle. However, early continuing difficulties with differentiating sounds, particularly at the beginning or end of a word, can be a sign of possible difficulties in the future.

Many children, including younger children, also develop ways to compensate for their dyslexia, such as relying on their long-term memory more than usual or by ‘picturing’ the whole word.

Signs and symptoms of dyslexia you need to be looking for:

  1. Directional confusion- for example, writing 69 instead of 96
  2. Sequencing difficulties- for example, reading the letters in a word in a wrong sequence
  3. Difficulties with small words- for example, replacing “a” for “and”
  4. Late talking
  5. Difficulties with handwriting

This is a partial list of dyslexia signs. In any case you think there is a problem with your child,  take him/her to a professional diagnostics.

Famous Adults with Learning Disabilities.

Nelson Rockefeller – at the age of 9 he did not know the letters of the alphabet.

He was thought of as dull and backward.  He entered Davidson College, but he had to withdraw because of illness.  Later he went to Princeton, but his grades were mediocre.

Thomas Edison – His head was large at birth.  His mother did not agree with those who felt that the child was abnormal. He was sent to school, but the teacher thought him to be mentally ill.

The mother withdrew the child from school and taught him herself.

As it turned out, he might have done well in vocational education.

Frank W. Woolworth – was labeled slow as a child.  He clerked in a village grocery store.

He suggested putting slow-merchandise on a counter and selling it at a reduced rate.  It turned out to be an excellent idea.

Greg Luganis – had extreme difficulty in reading; some people used to say that he was clumsy.

He has been high up in his field for many years.  Because of his background, he might be labeled both learning disabled and disadvantaged.

George Patton – When he was twelve years old, he could not read, and he remained deficient in reading all his life.  However, he could memorize entire lectures, which was how he got through school.  That never stopped him from marching ahead.

Walt Disney – as a child he was slow in school work.  About the only thing this apparently right-brained individual had gone for him was his vivid imagination, which used to bother his teachers, especially when he doodled.

Winston Churchill – failed grade eight, did terrible in math, and generally hated school.  Still, he was upset by people who were “inebriated by the exuberance of their own verbosity”.

Woodrow Wilson –  had great difficulty in reading; in fact, throughout his life, he was unable to read well.  Despite this, he was extremely successful in politics.

Albert Einstein – did not learn to read until he was nine.  His teachers considered him mentally slow, unsociable and a dreamer.  He failed the entrance examinations to college but finally passed them after an additional year of preparation.  He lost three teaching positions and then became a patent clerk.

Hans Christian Anderson – had difficulty in reading and writing, but for years people have cherished his wonderful stories, all of which had to be dictated to a scribe.

Tom Cruise – despite being a success in his chosen field, this entertainer can learn lines only by listening to a tape.  He is formally diagnosed dyslexic.

Agatha Christie – had a learning disability called dysgraphia, which prevented any understood or legible written work.  As a result, all material had to be dictated to a typist/transcriptionist.
 

Dysgraphia Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms to dysgraphia are often overlooked or attributed to the student being lazy, unmotivated, not caring, or having delayed visual-motor processing.

To diagnose Dysgraphia, one must have more than one of the following symptoms:

  1. Cramping of fingers while writing short entries
  2. Odd wrist, arm, body, or paper orientations such as creating an L-shape with your arm
  3. Excessive erasures
  4. Mixed upper case and lower case letters
  5. Inconsistent form and size of letters, or unfinished letters
  6. Misuse of lines and margins
  7. Inefficient speed of copying
  8. Inattentiveness over details when writing
  9. Frequent need of verbal cues
  10. Referring heavily on vision to write
  11. Poor legibility
  12. Handwriting abilities that may interfere with spelling and written composition
  13. Having a hard time translating ideas to writing, sometimes using the wrong words altogether
  14. May feel pain while writing

It’s very difficult to Diagnose Dysgraphia; therefore, parents and educators need to be aware of Dysgraphia signs and symptoms and ask for professional diagnostics. Different types of dysgraphia require different approaches to their treatment; please, look at our blog devoted to Dysgraphia Types and Treatments.
 

Are Certain Jobs Particularly Suited to Dyslexics?

My dyslexic librarian – are certain jobs particularly suited to dyslexics or is their jobs for dyslexics?

Despite being a dyslexia specialist, even I was surprised when my local librarian told me she was dyslexic. As my mother said “I bet she left that off her application form”.  Being dyslexic definitely makes me a better tutor; I imagine it makes her a more knowledgeable and sensitive librarian.  I was just a little shocked, which made me realise that deep down I’m still a bit insecure about my own dyslexia.  I personally know lots of teachers who are closet dyslexics, but dare we tell anyone?

Society seems to be content with the notion that the creativity of many dyslexics leads them to become successful artists, musicians, actors, designers and filmmakers.  We also find it understandable that many seek fulfilment far from the world of books, a few becoming elite athletes, famous sports people or military heroes.   With bullying rife, maybe we can all identify with fellow dyslexic Mohammed Ali sometimes.   However, not all children are destined for physical or artistic excellence.

Lots of people talk about dyslexia as a gift, but do many people honestly believe this?  I think that one of the biggest difficulties facing dyslexics is nothing to do with reading, writing or memory, but instead low expectations.  If the 2003 Tulip Financial Research findings are accurate that 40% of self-made millionaires are dyslexic, then low expectations may be ill-founded.  The ability to see the big picture and come up with innovative solutions to problems has produced billionaires like Richard Branson and a string of powerful U.S. presidents.

If you have this dyslexic mind, do particular doors open and others clang shut?  Maybe.  Because of their lateral thinking and spatial awareness, one famous practice of architects actually prefers to employ dyslexics.  Should we all be architects?  My drawing skills aren’t going to feed my cat, let alone me.

Whilst most dyslexics find school challenging and often are happier later in life when they can pursue the things they are good at, there are always exceptions.  Counter-intuitively, it’s possible to find famous dyslexic role models in heavily paper-based careers like the law or that require many years of arduous study, such as doctors.

If you imagine one of the few careers you’d never get dyslexics in would be writing, guess again!  Whether you’re more interested in the critical acclaim of WB Yeats, or the wealth of Agatha Christie, I guess the lesson is not to write people off.  With the right help in the right ways, dyslexia doesn’t have to stop you achieving your dreams, whatever they are, and it might even be a benefit!

Some food for thought: if the rumours of a possible cure for dyslexia become a reality, should we want it?  Would the world be a better place without the achievements  of Leonardo da Vinci, the films of Walt Disney, the stories of Hans Christian Anderson, the music of Lennon or Mozart, the art of Picasso, the buildings of Lord Rogers, the discoveries of Thomas Edison, the victory of Winston Churchill, or the genius of Albert Einstein?

Dyslexia Help @ Work

Ghotit host from time to time guest blog posts about dyslexia.

The writers of these posts may be dyslexics, dyslexic family members, dyslexic tutors, teachers, assistive technology specialists or any other writer as long as the post provides quality information about dyslexia.

This hosted post by The Tutor Pages.

Originally this blog was posted in 2012 since then potentially employers started to look how a candidate look in the social network and that can be a real problem to many people with dyslexia.

A personal note: always try to be creative, think out of the box and look at Ghotit’s Software and Apps designed to help dyslexics.

Mom – My Personal Spell Checker

When I started to learn to write (in the mid 70s) there were no personal computers and no available computer word processors. As a terrible dyslexic speller, I had only one spell checker available – my mother. She was my personal spell checker.

On the one hand her processing time was quite slow, as she had great difficulty understanding my handwriting and spelling; but on the other hand her correction accuracy was quite high, as she always knew the context of what I had written, and therefore could make very educated guesses to what I intended to write.

Once my mother finished correcting my text, the paper sheet was so full of crossed out words and corrections, that I always needed to copy the text to a clean sheet of paper… which usually meant copying the text with mistakes again and going through an additional iteration with my mother… and then being requested by my mother to read out loud what was written… the process was tedious and tiring, many  times resulting in one of us losing our patience.

Years passed by, and the personal computers overtook the world. By the end of the 80’s I owned my own personal computer, and was using the word processing software WordPerfect and its spell checker. When Microsoft Word 95 added its underlining spell checker, I adopted the Microsoft’s squiggly-red spelling errors markings.

But though Microsoft’s word spell checker processing was extremely faster than my mother… the correction accuracy was quite low… Microsoft often gave me wrong suggestions… or no suggestions at all, as it simply could not decipher my spelling… as Microsoft had no understanding to the context of what I was writing about.

Microsoft Word spell checker failed to provide me the value that Mom my personal spell checker provided.  That’s why years later I founded Ghotit – the only spell checker designed for dyslexia spelling.  And Ghotit has adopted some of the same spell checking characteristics displayed by Mom my personal spell checker:

  • Ghotit boasts of context-based algorithms, understanding the intended word from the context of the written text itself
  • Ghotit is patient – supporting correction re-iterations based on additional corrections and inputs provided by the user
  • Ghotit  can be asked to read out the text out loud

PS After so many years… I believe Mom my personal spell checker has finally met her match