Saturday, July 29, 2017

Children with dyslexia can learn normally with the right approach

Early detection imperative in providing the right treatment and helping manage condition better

New Delhi, 28 July, 2017: Statistics indicate that Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disabilities affecting 1 in 10 children worldwide. The Dyslexia Association of India estimates that about 10% to 15% of school-going children in India suffer from some type of Dyslexia. Multilingualism, which is common in the country, can also impact the difficulty. This condition can affect boys and girls alike. If undetected by Class 2, dyslexic children can grow up to be dyslexic adults, at which point, this condition cannot be cured.

A developmental reading disorder, Dyslexia occurs in children with normal intelligence. It is caused when the brain is unable to translate images received from the eyes or ears into understandable language. Although there is evidence to suggest that dyslexic children can excel in other areas such as sports and extracurricular activities, lack of awareness is an impediment to the progress of such children in India.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said "The brain of a dyslexic person is structurally and functionally different from others. The inborn wiring system of the brain responsible for development of mental skills is different in a dyslexic person, making this the root cause for this condition. It is due to this that even minor acts of comprehension and usage can take longer in such children. The sad part about this condition in our country is that children can be classified as under achievers. They are also labeled as lazy, having low intellect, and unmotivated. All this affects their personality and results in low confidence and self esteem. Early detection can play a major role in helping such children. Assessment of the child's family history and other related information can help trace the causes."

Some symptoms of dyslexia in children include difficulty in verbal skills; abstract reasoning; impaired hand-eye coordination; poor concentration, perception, and memory; and impaired social adjustment.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, "The first line of understanding for a child is his/her parents. They should ensure that instead of running away from the problem, the child undergoes proper assessment to diagnose the difficulty. If the child is diagnosed with dyslexia, understand that it is not the end of everything. Understanding, acknowledging, and supporting your child in his/her efforts can help in handling this condition in a better and more informed manner."

There are some techniques that can be used to help dyslexic children overcome their learning and comprehension problems.

  • Indulge in positive reinforcement. Communicate with your child in a positive manner and be patient with them when they take time to grasp things.
  • Dyslexic children are more inquisitive and hence, it is important to give them logical answers. Help them in getting their doubts cleared.
  • Teaching science and math in a tabular manner can help them in understanding the subjects better.
  • Use more of audio-visual aids as they can grasp things better with this technique. For younger children, flash cards can be used.
  • Yoga is a good way of increasing concentration in children with this condition. Breathing exercises and alternative therapy can help them cope better than medicines.

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