Discover the effects of dyslexia, the misconceptions and how to support a child with dyslexia at school.
Even with the power of the internet, the effects and characteristics of dyslexia are still largely misunderstood in today’s society.
But it’s an area we all need to think about, especially when around 10% of school children are diagnosed with this learning disability and UK schools fail to identify at least 80% of dyslexia pupils in the first place.
In this article, we debunk the most common characteristics and misconceptions of dyslexia and explain how you can support a child experiencing it in a school environment.
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a learning disability that is neurological in origin and affects both genders. Simply put, dyslexia is distinguished by having trouble learning to read and write despite average intelligence and conventional teaching.
Some general dyslexic characteristics include the following:
- Difficulties with accurate word recognition
- Poor spelling
These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the matching of sounds and letters that is often unexpected about other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instructions.
Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
Often diagnosis occurs too late in the educational system, before which the individual can attract ‘labels’ as being naughty, disruptive, or lacking attentiveness or focus.
What are the effects of dyslexia?
The alarming and overwhelming impact of dyslexia can result in a child underperforming and not reaching their full potential at school.
The negative effects of dyslexia include the following:
- Low self-esteem and confidence
- Behaviour issues
- Withdrawal from relationships
- Memory problems
- Poor organisation and timekeeping
- Difficulty concentrating, multi-tasking, and communicating.
All these effects of dyslexia impact the daily life of a child and can manifest as more serious issues in later life as an adult.
What are the characteristics of dyslexia?
Characteristics of dyslexia may include:
- Delayed spoken language as a young child
- Trouble with reading
- Poor spelling
- Trouble organising and writing thoughts and ideas
- Poor grammar and handwriting
Common misconceptions about dyslexia (debunked)
In being largely unrecognised at schools, dyslexia also comes with misconceptions, including:
1. Reading backwards
A common misconception about dyslexia is that it involves reading backwards. Reversed words and letters may occur but might be only a small part of the picture.
2. It goes away when a child learns to read
Learning how to read effectively doesn’t cure dyslexia. The condition will continue to affect they’re reading alongside writing, spelling, and speech.
3. Vision issues are a cause
Vision problems don’t cause dyslexia. Dyslexia is caused by visual processing when the brain struggles to recognise and decipher what the eyes can see clearly.
4. A lack of intelligence
Another misconception is the belief that having dyslexia means you’re stupid. Wrong!
It’s the contrary, names such as Richard Branson, Whoopi Goldberg, Muhammad Ali, Leonardo da Vinci, Napoleon, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, and Thomas Edison all had dyslexia and look how they turned out.
5. Underperforming visual and spatial tasks
Lastly, dyslexics often have average to above-average intelligence with high verbal language skills. So, often individuals with dyslexia can show special talents in areas that involve visual and spatial tasks.
However, we must recognise and identify dyslexia in school before too many children go undiagnosed and do not receive the necessary support required to fulfil their potential.
How to support a child with dyslexia at school
My child, Charlie, was diagnosed later in his primary school years. We knew he was bright, but his school reports were poor. He disliked school and was bottom class.
Following specialist advice and the diagnosis of dyslexia, we introduced specific dyslexia-tinted exercise books. His reading instantly improved from eight words per minute to sixty words.
Over the following years, his visual stress improved, along with his confidence and he climbed from the lower sets to his actual ability, which was generally mid-level and higher levels in maths.
Knowing what we know now, the frustration as parents by not completing the tests sooner could have resolved his issue years earlier. The impact on Charlie, before diagnosis, was frustration and confidence in his ability.
When we assessed his eyes using specialist optical equipment, he focused on the page but couldn’t follow the sentence or line of words. With the correct tint, his eyes could. As both a parent and a teacher, the diagnosis and solution were emotionally overwhelming. I encourage all schools and parents to do all they can to help dyslexic children.
Dyslexia exercise books can support a child with dyslexia at school
At The Exercise Book Company, we make a wide range of schoolbooks to help dyslexic children. With over 43 years of experience in the printing industry, we pride ourselves on producing the highest quality standard dyslexia tinted exercise books on the market that ensure maximum usability, durability, and appearance.
Our comprehensive range of dyslexia colours, sizes and inner page styles is wider and more specialised than other suppliers while also providing antibacterial protection. We offer a range of Dyslexia Tinted Exercise Books, including lined and squared rulings at a standard 225gsm cover.
For more information about how our books can support and develop the learning of school children, get in touch today.