Understanding Dyslexia

For dyslexia, early identification of both strengths and weaknesses is key to success with education. Dyslexia is often seen as a disadvantage. When it is viewed as a different way of thinking, this thinking can lead to success.

HOW DYSLEXIA AFFECTS LEARNING

Reading – Difficulty recognizing and manipulating sounds, letters, and words makes learning to read difficult. Once reading is grasped, children who are dyslexic often remain slow readers.

Memory Systems – Problems with memory systems can affect all learning. Memory systems include: Verbal Memory (remembering verbal instructions), Sequential Memory (ordering facts and information), Working Memory (keeping facts in mind in order to manipulate them), and Visual Memory (recognizing symbols, letters and words).

Spelling, Grammar & Punctuation – To excel at spelling, grammar, and punctuation, you have to learn to retrieve a series of information, skills, and rules. Children with dyslexia have difficulty with memory systems, making it difficult for them to learn and apply these skills and rules.

Math – Children with dyslexia struggle with sequential and working memory, making it difficult for them to learn and remember multiplication tables. Memory problems make it difficult for them to do mental arithmetic, although they are often very good at conceptual, higher level math. Therefore, it’s essential to identify dyslexia in order to nurture higher level math skills.

Exams – Memory difficulties make recalling facts difficult, particularly when under pressure during tests. The removal of coursework and speaking and listening from exams is disadvantageous for kids with dyslexia. They excel in the reasoning and exploring skills applied in coursework and have strong verbal reasoning and communication skills. When we remove these elements from exams, we limit the opportunity for kids with dyslexia to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of a subject.

Exam Extra Time – Unlike non-dyslexics, literacy is not automatic for a child with dyslexia. They constantly have to think about every action and process, then put them all together in quick sequence to complete their work. As a result, it takes kids with dyslexia approximately five times longer than others to complete literacy tasks. This is why allowing extra time to take exams is essential for all children with dyslexia. Research by U.S. universities has found that extra time often dramatically impacts grades.

MOSAIC Rehabilitation can provide assessment and intervention for children whose language difficulties involve problems in learning to read and write. These reading and writing difficulties may occur independently of obvious deficits in spoken language or comprehension of oral language.