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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dyslexia

What is Dyslexia?
Hav ingdys lexiac anmake it hardtoread! Translation: Having dyslexia can make it hard to read! Writing that might look like this to someone who has dyslexia.

Dyslexia is a disorder that is characterized by a difficulty processing words. It is a learning problem some kids have with reading and writing. It can make words look jumbled. Reading problems are one symptom of dyslexia.

The word "dyslexia" comes from the Greek words δυς- dys- ("impaired") and λέξις lexis ("word"). People are often identified as dyslexic when their reading or writing problems cannot be explained by a lack of intellectual ability, inadequate instruction, or sensory problems such as poor eyesight.

The term dyslexia is also sometimes used to refer to the loss of reading ability following brain damage. This form of dyslexia is more often referred to as either acquired dyslexia or "Alexia". Dyslexia primarily impacts reading and writing abilities; however, other difficulties have been reported including deficits in processing spoken language as well as non-language difficulties. Despite popular belief, dyslexia is not caused by reversing the order of letters in reading, nor is it a visual perception deficit that involves reading letters or words backwards or upside down.

Evidence that dyslexia is a neurological or brain-based condition is substantial. Research also suggests an association with biochemical and genetic markers. Some question whether the term dyslexia is so fraught with popular misconceptions that it should be dropped altogether and replaced with the term Reading Disorder or Reading Disability (RD). Because difficulty in "breaking the code" of sound-letter association (reading acquisition) can be seen as being on a continuum, some believe the term dyslexia should be reserved for the most severely affected with RD, the bottom two to five percent. Moreover, dyslexia is not always the culprit in a child's not learning to read. Poor teaching methods can leave non-dyslexic children with poor reading skills.

Dyslexia can occur in several members of a family. This suggests that there is a genetic component to the disorder. Dyslexia also varies in degree of severity, thus affecting some people much more than others. Although the disorder varies from person to person, common characteristics among people with dyslexia are difficulty with phonological processing (the manipulation of sounds) and/or rapid visual-verbal responding.


Is there any treatment?
The main focus of treatment should be on the specific learning problems of affected individuals. The usual course is to modify teaching methods and the educational environment to meet the specific needs of the individual with dyslexia. There is also evidence that colored lenses, vision therapy, or similar proposed treatments may be of use in overcoming reading problems.

Kids with dyslexia also might use flash cards or tape classroom lessons and homework assignments instead of taking notes about them. At home, kids may need to spend extra time doing homework. They may need parents or tutors to help them stay caught up. There are even special computer programs that help kids learn how to sound out words

The most common form of treatment for dyslexia in English-speaking countries is through educational tutoring, often using an approach based on Orton-Gillingham, which provides systematic, multisensory teaching geared to building phonetic decoding skills.

Remedial efforts focusing on phonological awareness training (often involving breaking words into their basic sounds and rearranging these sounds to produce different words) can improve reading decoding skills. The earlier the phonological regimen is taken on, the better the overall result.

Other popular educationally-based methods include Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, which provides extensive tutoring geared to developing precursor and ancillary reading skills, such as Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing (LiPS) Program, to help develop phonemic awareness; and Phono-Graphix, which is an alternative multisensory approach to teaching phonetic skills, designed to be faster paced and to avoid the repetition and drill associated with traditional tutoring methods.

There are also a number of therapeutic approaches which focus on providing treatment for underlying cognitive, neurological, auditory, or visual impairments thought to underlie dyslexia. These include the following: Davis Dyslexia Correction, which is a comprehensive, counseling-based approach combining mental techniques to overcome disorientation associated with dyslexia with the use of clay modeling to learn the alphabet, words and concepts; Fast ForWord, a software training program geared to improving children's ability to distinguish the sounds of language; the Dore Program (DDAT), a system of balance and coordination exercises designed to increase cerebellar function; Auditory integration training; and Neurofeedback.

What are common characteristics of dyslexia?
The following characteristics have been adapted from R. D. Davis, 37 Common Characteristics of Dyslexia.
General
Individuals with dyslexia:
  • May appear bright, intelligent, and articulate but are unable to read, write, or spell at an age-appropriate level.
  • Have average or above average intelligence, yet may have poor academic achievement; may have good oral language abilities but will perform much more poorly on similar written-language tests.
  • Might be labelled lazy, dumb, careless, immature, "not trying hard enough," or as having a "behavior problem."
  • Because dyslexia primarily affects reading while sparing other intellectual abilities, affected individuals might be categorised as not "behind enough" or "bad enough" to receive additional help in a school setting.
  • Might feel dumb and have poor self-esteem, and might be easily frustrated and emotional about school reading or testing.
  • Might try to hide their reading weaknesses with ingenious compensatory "strategies".
  • Might learn best through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation, and visual aids.
  • Can show talents in other areas such as art, drama, music, sports, mechanics, story-telling, sales, business, designing, building, or engineering.
  • Have related problems with attention in a school setting; for instance they might seem to "zone out" or daydream often; get lost easily or lose track of time; and have difficulty sustaining attention.
Vision, reading, and spelling
Contrary to how it has been portrayed in the popular press, individuals with dyslexia do not perceive words backwards or upside down. In fact, visual problems are typically ruled out before a diagnosis of dyslexia can be made. Early studies of dyslexia did focus on the possibility that dyslexia is caused by visual difficulties, however very little evidence was found to support this theory. Likewise, there is little evidence that visual training provides effective treatment.
  • A popular theory in the 1970s suggested dyslexics may have Meares-Irlen Syndrome, a visual deficit in which the glare of the white page against black letters causes the words to shake, shiver, spin, etc. after a few minutes of reading. The proposed treatment was the use of colored plastic overlays that were thought help anchor the words to the page. This treatment has fallen out of favor as scientific studies have failed to support these claims.
  • Spelling errors - Because of difficulty learning letter-sound correspondences, individuals with dyslexia might tend to misspell words, or leave vowels out of words (e.g., spelling "magic" as mjc).
  • Reading - Due to dyslexics' excellent long term memory, young students tend to memorize beginning readers, but are unable to read individual words or phrases.
Writing and motor skills
Because of literacy problems, an individual with dyslexia may have difficulty with handwriting. This can involve slower writing speed than average or poor handwriting characterised by irregularly formed letters.
Some studies have also reported gross motor difficulties in dyslexia, including motor skills disorder. This difficulty is indicated by clumsiness and poor coordination. The relationship between motor skills and reading difficulties is poorly understood but could be linked to the role of the cerebellum in the development of reading and motor abilities.
Math abilities
Dyslexia should not be confused with dyscalculia, a learning disability marked by severe difficulties with mathematics. Individuals with dyslexia can be gifted in math while having poor reading skills. However, in spite of this they might have difficulty with word problems (i.e., math problems that rely on written text rather than numbers or formulas). It is also possible that individuals with dyslexia have difficulty with multiplication tables, and other mathematics which involve remembering the order in which numbers appear.

Are there variations and related conditions?
The following conditions are sometimes confused with dyslexia because they can also lead to difficulty reading:
  • Auditory Processing Disorder is a condition that affects the ability to encode auditory information. It can lead to problems with auditory working memory and auditory sequencing.
  • Dyspraxia is a neurological condition characterized by a marked difficulty in carrying out routine tasks involving balance, fine-motor control, and kinesthetic coordination. This is most common in dyslexics who also have Attention Deficit Disorder.
  • Verbal Dyspraxia is a neurological condition characterized by marked difficulty in the use of speech sounds, which is the result of an immaturity in the speech production area of the brain.
  • Dysgraphia is a neurological condition characterized by distorted and incorrect handwriting.
  • Dyscalculia is a neurological condition characterized by a problem with learning fundamentals and one or more of the basic numerical skills. Often people with this condition can understand very complex mathematical concepts and principles but have difficulty processing formulas and even basic addition and subtraction.
  • Scotopic Sensitivity, also known as Irlen Syndrome, is a sensitivity to certain wavelengths of light which interfere with proper visual processing.

How do someones with dyslexia feel?
Someones who have dyslexia might get frustrated sometimes and they may not like that they are in a different reading group than their friends. But they can get help to improve their reading skills and go on to do great things in life - just like Einstein, Thomas Alva Edison, the actor Tom Cruise, and the long list of others who succeeded despite dyslexia.

2 comments:

elly said...

You should check out dyscalculiaforum.com :)

Daniel Hary Prasetyo said...

Thank's for your info.