The Effect of Dyslexia in Children
We know that children learn at different paces. Some learn rather quickly, while others struggle more. However, when it comes to dyslexia in children, this means children will have a lot of difficulties learning to read and write. With adequate psycho-pedagogical support, however, the dyslexic child will successfully be able to develop his or her abilities.
Dyslexia is a learning problem that’s more common than you may think. Dyslexic children may be unfairly labeled as dumb or slow, even though they’re trying very hard to read, write and follow instructions.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this common condition.
What is Dyslexia in Children?
Reading seems to be an automatic and simple procedure for those who can easily do it. However, reading is a complex task for the brain. While talking is a natural process for children, reading involves learning.
Learning to read means understanding that words are made up of sounds and then relating those sounds to the letters in the alphabet. When these sounds and letters are combined, words are formed. Once you’re able to recognize those words, you can learn to read.
However, this process isn’t the same for all children. The brains of children with dyslexia develop and function differently. There are a few different kinds of dyslexia, but in general, it’s difficult for children with dyslexia to make out the sounds that make up a word. In addition, it’s hard for them to understand which letters make those sounds.
Dyslexia in children isn’t a matter of intelligence or a desire to learn. Dyslexic children can be successful and can learn perfectly well with the appropriate teaching methods, which is why early detection is important.
What Are the Symptoms?
At the preschool age, dyslexic children have the following symptoms. They:
- Don’t talk much and don’t know as many words as other children their age.
- Have problems learning numbers, colors and letters.
- Fail to recognize or associate words that rhyme.
- Find it hard to follow instructions; you have to frequently remind him of rules and routines.
When they’re a bit older and are learning to read and write, dyslexic children have these symptoms. They:
- Find it difficult to identify the syllables and sounds that make up words.
- Can’t pronounce the isolated sounds that make up syllables.
- Change the sequence of letters when reading and writing words.
- Have problems with calligraphy and fine motor skills.
If they reach adolescence without having been diagnosed with dyslexia, they’ll have these characteristics:
- Vocalizing and decoding the words that are difficult for them. They’ll avoid reading in public.
- Since it’s difficult for them to find the right word, they’ll use words that have different meanings, but sound similar.
- They have difficulty expressing ideas in the correct order. In addition, they won’t use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation.
- Since their communication can be affected, it won’t be easy for them to participate in group projects, and their social life may be affected.
How Does Dyslexia Affect Children?
Children with dyslexia may have a hard time at school. They’re often unfairly stigmatized as unmotivated, stupid or lazy, and their peers may also pick on them. If the dyslexic child doesn’t get the help he needs, s/he’ll may very poorly in school. This will make them the victim of negative messages and evaluations coming from their school, social and family environment.
Continued failure in school will make a dyslexic child lose motivation to learn. Plus, it will make her or him more insecure about his/her abilities. This can then spread to other extracurricular activities, which can affect the child’s entire quality of life.
The dyslexic child may develop emotional or behavioral problems if their problem is not treated. This may include:
- Anxiety, in any of its forms.
- Decrease or increase in appetite.
- Problems sleeping, such as insomnia or nightmares.
- Stress. The child may suffer from headaches, vomiting or abdominal pain, among others.
- Depressive symptoms, such as feelings of failure, insecurity, school difficulties, sadness, sudden mood swings…
- Difficulties with social interactions.
- Behavioral disorders that cause aggressive or provocative behaviors. This is a defense mechanism.
- Low self-esteem.
How Can We Help Dyslexic Children?
Dyslexic children are creative because they think in an unconventional way, and they can solve problems differently than others. If we can help them early, it’s possible to overcome their difficulties and prevent many of the issues that affect self-esteem and emotional well-being.
Even though they cannot spell and it takes them more time to process information, the most important thing is that we support them. We don’t want them to just give up and drop out of school. It’s the parents’ job to encourage reading and to help their children read at home. Fortunately, there are a lot of fun ways to teach a child how to read!
In addition, a child must understand what dyslexia is and understand that it doesn’t make him or her any less intelligent. Also, we have to offer them different opportunities that will allow them to build their self-confidence. Make sure you’re encouraging them to try other things, like sports, artistic activities or theater.
If your child is dyslexic, it’s important to know that there’s nothing wrong with being different. His or her dyslexia doesn’t define your child and should never interfere with your love. Also, you may find out that your child is very talented at other things.