How many of us have heard about dyslexia or have met anyone with dyslexia? We probably have but don’t recognize it because we are not well conversant with the term. Sometimes we live with people suffering from dyslexia but we are not aware of it. Many at times we tend to think these people are either dumb or stupid. But what if they are not generally stupid but ill? Would you believe it could be true or just assume they are lazybones.
Most times we do not look deep into such matters especially African parents because they tend to believe that some of these conditions are white man’s problems. I had a friend who studied more than everyone in class but always managed to score the lowest marks in exams. Every teacher thought she was simply lazy and very stupid. Everyone wondered why she was not performing well in class considering she was quite the reader. No one understood but later on I came to realize that she probably wasn’t dumb but dyslexic. Something that none of us was aware of when we were in school.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that is characterized by difficulty in learning. It is known to affect people from a tender age, even kids with normal vision and are smart. Persons affected are always intelligent but they find it difficult to grasp what they are taught and what they read. It is mostly verbal and their brains tend to process graphic symbols way differently than that of normal people. When a child has dyslexia this does not mean they will live a miserable life and never be successful. There are a lot of influential people who are dyslexic. Whoopi Goldberg (teacher in Sarafina the South African movie), Shark Tank investor Daymond John, CEO of Virgin Airlines Richard Branson are good examples.
Symptoms of dyslexia can be seen at any point of someone’s life but it is always spotted mostly during childhood. Some of these symptoms include; difficulty in learning to read, late speech development, slow learning of data sets, poor eye- hand condition, poor spelling of syllables and vowels, poor concentration as well as reversal of words and numbers. The symptoms tend to differ from one child to the other because one could have difficulty in only spelling syllables (dysgraphia) while the other difficulty in doing math (dyscalculia). They sometimes get anxious and frustrated. They tend not to process whatever they are taught in school very fast like the others and that is why most times parents are requested to take them to a school where they would get utmost concentration from their teachers. Sometimes their teachers are required to read for them so they can understand what it is they are being taught.
Dyslexia can either be for a certain period of time or even a lifetime. When realized early, children can undergo therapy that can help reduce the effect it has on them. What these children need is support from their parents and teachers as well as a specialized education program. Before thinking that your child is probably stupid why don’t you first evaluate if they have dyslexia and if they do, take him/her to therapy so they can get help. You can as well hire a tutor that will ensure your child is taught the same thing over and over again so that they do not forget. Do not give up on your child but show them you understand their condition and are giving them all the support they need. DYSLEXIA IS NOT DUMBNESS.
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