Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability, which results in the person having difficulties with reading, writing, spelling and sometimes speaking. Short-term memory, mathematics, concentration, personal organisation and sequencing may be affected.
In dyslexic people, the brain has been wired to process information differently. It doesn't mean that a dyslexic person is slow, disabled or not motivated to learn. On the contrary, dyslexic people can be quite brilliant in other areas and many famous, successful people have been identified as dyslexic.
In fact, dyslexia can be seen as a gift. "Dyslexic people are visual, multi-dimensional thinkers. We are intuitive and highly creative, and excel at hands-on learning. Because we think in pictures, it is sometimes hard for us to understand letters, numbers, symbols, and written words.
We can learn to read, write and study efficiently when we use methods geared to our unique learning style."(source Ron D Davis, www.dyslexia.com)
As parents and teachers, we need to be able to identify dyslexia and be able to change our teaching strategies to accommodate the different needs of these children.
Dyslexia cannot be cured and it's a life long condition. But the difficulties it presents can be overcome with the right teaching. Early identification and intervention is the key to helping dyslexics overcome their difficulties and achieve success in school and in life.
Research has shown that a multi-sensory approach is the most effective way to teach the dyslexic student. Multi-sensory means using all of the senses to process information, particularly including touch and movement. Dyslexic children need the extra information they gain from feeling and moving to help make sense of the information going in. For instance, when learning to write letters, it's not enough for them to see it. They will need to trace the shape with their fingers, feel the shape of it as well as seeing or hearing it.