Characteristics of Dyslexia
Dyslexia is a disorder that is evident in children who develop learning challenges at their developmentally appropriate level, age five or later.
Preschool – Kindergarten learners
The learner under this category deal with early challenges of effectively adapting to their cognitive and psychomotor skills. As part of the challenges, the learners find it difficult to articulate the common words that may easily be learned at their developmental level. Equally important, difficulties associated with remembering written information and following directions are also experienced by learners in such developmental stages (Al Dahhan et al., 2021). Additionally, difficulty in recognizing and producing rhymes and matching words with the initial sound is also a challenge to such learners. The disorder is, therefore, an impeding factor to the cognitive and psychomotor skills of the learners.
Grades 1- 3
As highlighted, learners under this category have challenges in learning sound or symbol correspondences (Al Otaiba et al., 2018). As pointed out by various researchers, the learners face challenges associated with persistent visual confusion on similar letters and the similarity in the pronunciation of the letters. For instance, the learners have difficulty decoding the difference in the letters between (b/) and (p/). Similarly, sound confusion may be recorded in identifying the appropriate sound between (d/) and (t/) or (f/) and (v/). Equally important, the learners may also find it challenging to identify basic sight vocabulary. For instance, the learners may record a limited intellectual ability in remembering colors, however different. Additionally, the learners find it compelling to remember spelling rules and segment words during their writing skills. As such, it is worth noting that the learners under Grades 1-3 have difficulty in basic educational skills at their level.
Grades 4 – 8
Under this category, the learners are identified as having difficulties in reading and spelling multisyllabic words. Errors in making appropriate sounds and articulation of sentences are part of the challenges experienced under this category. Additionally, a lack of awareness of the word structure when placing the prefixes, suffixes, and roots is also considered. Further, the word recognition problem affects the learner’s ability to comprehend and learn new information, thus derailing an individual’s learning process (Aro et al., 2021). It is also worth noting that the learners in this category face difficulty reading common sight words. In that case, the learner may fail to identify the flow of words making the learning process even more difficult.
High School/ College/ Adult learners
In the same light, learners in high school, college, or adult institutions face a continued challenge in recognizing words which significantly interferes with their knowledge acquisition and analysis of any written material. As such, the learners are recorded to have slow reading rates, challenges in taking notes, and continued difficulty with written composition (Berkeley & Larsen, 2018). Hence, the limitation of the learners is in the continued difficulty in self-learning processes because of the negative impeding factors resulting from Dyslexia.
Causes of Dyslexia
The phonological deficit theory
According to the theory, learners affected with dyslexia deal with the challenge of phonological skills that entails the ability of the learner to break words into smaller bits for understanding. Such weakness, as affirmed by the theory, interferes with the ability of dyslexia learners to perform effectively in the educational role in their developmental stage (Cataudella et al., 2021). The limitation of the affected learners in storing, representing, and retrieving sounds is primarily liked to the consequential effect of Dyslexia. As such, phonological processing, as embedded in the theory’s argument, affirms that the learners affected by Dyslexia are limited in effectively segmenting the words into a more comprehensive level.
The Magnocellular Deficit Theory
Affirmatively, the Magnocellular Deficit Theory describes the causality of Dyslexia to be derived from a deficit in the magnocellular pathway. The issues relating to the deficit encompass a limitation in visual, learning, and processing effectiveness. Biologically, it is clear that the magnocells are instrumental in carrying information on the changes and the rapid environmental movements (“Erratum: Comments on ‘Specific Learning Disabilities: Issues That Remain Unanswered,’” 2019). They play an instrumental role and functionality in being the pathway between the retina and the brain’s visual cortex. As such, an impairment in such a region derails the visual capacity of the individuals. According to the theory, dyslexia learners experience difficulties, as highlighted, because of the impairment caused in the visual magnocellular system.
The Cerebellar Deficit Theory
Primarily, the cerebellar deficit theory has been acknowledged as a more sensible theory that vividly explains the causality of Dyslexia among learners. According to the theory, the dysfunction of the cerebellum at mild levels leads to the growth of dyslexia disorder. As affirmatively recorded by various researchers, direct and indirect cerebellar causation leads to Dyslexia in the affected individual which further interferes with the intellectual levels in writing, spelling, and reading (Grigorenko et al., 2020). The baseline in the theory’s argument is that the causation of Dyslexia is in the interference in the central processing that is linked to learning and automaticity. Hence, Dyslexia is agreeably caused by the cerebellar deficit theory.
Types of Dyslexia
Acquired Dyslexia is arguable as a result of damage to the neurological systems. The neurological damages resulting from acquired Dyslexia have been on record to be resulting from brain trauma or stroke. This type of Dyslexia is common among patients with extensive left-hemisphere damage that results in aphasia or left hemiparesis. The analysis of acquired Dyslexia is important in understanding the recommended teacher support that could be applicable in assisting the learner in establishing a progressive academic performance (Johnston & Scanlon, 2021). In that case, expounding on the subtypes of acquired Dyslexia, Deep Dyslexia, Surface dyslexia, and Phonological Dyslexia is impactful in assessing the learner’s academic performance results.
It is a severe subtype of acquired Dyslexia but rare in most learners. Under this subtype, the learners find reading, learning, and remembering simple words challenging. Some simple words may include up, down, or now (Lemons et al., 2018). As such, the perfect remedy for dealing with such challenging cases is generating visual representations of such words that will be beneficial in steering a reminder for the learners.
As a form of developmental Dyslexia, this subtype affects the learner’s ability to decode the difference in some words. The difficulty in the learning process is especially because of the closeness in the articulation and spelling of the words (Malli et al., 2018). For instance, words like howl and bowl are close in their spellings; thus, the learner may find it difficult to outline the difference between them.
Under this subtype of Dyslexia, the learner is incapacitated in representing, storing, and retrieving speech sounds. As such, the cognitive levels of the learner are greatly affected, creating a loophole in the academic performance of the particular learner (Miciak & Fletcher, 2020).
This particular disorder is recorded as the most common neurodevelopmental dyslexia disorder affecting many learners. The problem of accuracy and fluency among such learners is common since decoding simple words is considered a huge task. Numerous research posits that learners exhibiting developmental disorders may have specific difficulties in learning that may include dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and dyspraxia (Prasad & Sagar, 2022). Equally important other challenges that are linked to learners with developmental Dyslexia are visuospatial attention deficits and attention-orienting limitations. Hence developmental Dyslexia is a primary contributor to the learner’s performance.
Psychological evaluation entirely involves a closer examination of the learner’s mental health. A purposeful result may be achieved through psychological evaluation since a clear determination of the child’s causality of behavior may be determined. Cases such as social problems, anxiety, or depression have been on record to influence the child’s academic performance, prowess, and progress (Ring & Black, 2018). In the long run, the appropriate remedy is provided for managing the disease.
Vision, Hearing, and Neurological Brain Tests
Conducting such tests is instrumental in identifying the presence of another disorder that may interfere with the learner’s mental health. The disorder can be monitored and managed by conducting neurological brain tests (Roitsch & Watson, 2019). For instance, in analyzing the learner’s cognitive skills, the specificity in identifying the impeding factors sets the availability of teacher support on a positive scale. As such, the appropriate teaching practice is maximized to meet the learner’s needs.
Utilizing a questionnaire as an affirmative factor in the diagnosis bolsters the identification of the reading and language abilities of the learner. Identifying the learner’s intellectual ability depending on the academic level creates a positive understanding of the appropriate mechanics of the available teacher support that could assist the learner’s academic performance (Zeng et al., 2018).
General Academic Tests
Quality tests on general academic skills need to be assessed to define the general performance of the learner. The conduction of the process by an education expert will help define the state of the learner’s mental health. Hence, general academic tests are proficient in understanding the learner’s health and general proactivity levels.
The educational techniques involved in the treatment are supposed to be specific depending on the severity of the dyslexia disorder on the particular learner. For instance, the generation of an individual learning program depends on the evaluations based on the child’s reading and general academic skills (Al Dahhan et al., 2021). The educational techniques mostly revolve around establishing the learner’s fluency, comprehension, phonics, and phonemes. Affirmatively, the assessment and improvement done on such layers of academic abilities help set the pace of dealing with the effects of dyslexia disorder.
Individual Education Plan
Easing the learning challenges that learners diagnosed with Dyslexia is facilitated by an already established Individual education plan. According to the plan, a structured framework that incorporates the strengths and weaknesses of the learner bolsters the learning activities and consequentially improves the learning abilities expected (Al Otaiba et al., 2018). Notably, the learner improves the quality of life and education performance under the individual education plan creating a progressive coping and treatment plan for the disorder.
Extra help attained at the early stages of the development of the disorder helps in realizing a progressive approach to the treatment of Dyslexia (Ring & Black, 2018). Affirmatively, learners with improved levels in dealing with their educational difficulties are bound to improve and cope easily with their learning challenges compared to learners that receive late treatment plans.
Address the problem early
The parent is obliged to identify the problem early enough to prevent the challenges that result from the increased chances generated by poor management of the disorder (Prasad & Sagar, 2022). An earlier addressing of the problem assists the teachers in effectively channeling their support to the learner’s difficulty at the beginning stages, which consequentially improves the success rates of the learner in the next academic development levels.
Read aloud with the child
Establishing fluency, comprehension, phonics, and phonemes allows for the proper growth and development of the child’s intellectual ability. Reading aloud with the learner generates an easier understanding since appropriate teacher support is provided (Miciak & Fletcher, 2020). Hence, the parents may be productive in propelling the child’s academic performance by supporting the learner’s reading ability.
Cooperation with the child’s school
Since the parent understands the learner’s capacity from a more intentional and personal perspective, cooperation with the respective school will go a long way in assisting the learner’s performance levels (Miciak & Fletcher, 2020). As such, the parent’s obligation to cooperate with the school in molding the child’s academic performance is an effective way of improving the general intellectual prowess. Hence, cooperating with the school is a more interactive way of promoting the learner’s performance.
Encourage reading time
Setting aside time intentionally by the parent to study with the learner is instrumental in improving reading skills and general learning practice. Encouraging the learner to study as skills develop acts as a boon to the academic levels of the learner (Grigorenko et al., 2020). Also, having the learner read aloud helps improve the basic intellectual skills of the learner.
Set a reading example
Designating a time separately to read something personally as the parent while the learner studies set an example and support the learner in greater margins. Showing the learner that reading can be enjoyable bolsters the learner’s academic performance.
Adult Learner’s Remedy
Seeking evaluation and Instructional help
Evaluation and instructional help will help ease the challenges posed by dyslexia disorder. Understanding learning styles will help teachers to communicate with their dyslexic students. Most dyslexic students go to schools without knowing they have dyslexia (Cataudella et al., 2021). Hence, assessments of Dyslexia can be a good strategy to know whether a learner has dyslexia.
Additional Training and counseling
Training and counseling would be impactful in identifying the needs and challenges of the learners. Finding more effective teaching and learning strategies for students with Dyslexia can be considered a challenge to teachers but can be improved effectively. Most dyslexic learners fail to master the basics of reading and writing at the beginning of primary school. They have poor auditory memory for learning nursery rhymes, chants, numbers, days of the week, colors, shapes, and spelling their names (Cataudella et al., 2021).
Dyslexia is not a one-off diagnostic exercise since several other factors are involved. Earlier stages of diagnosis play a primary role in the improvement of the cognitive abilities of the learner across various academic levels. Additionally, teachers’ support and psychological support play a huge impact in facilitating the proper performance of the various learners. As such, the assessment of Dyslexia and its general impact on the learner plays a crucial role in defining the adaptability rates to the individual academic level and potential.
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