An understanding of the pupil's specific difficulties, and how they may affect the student's classroom performance, can enable the teacher to adopt teaching methods and strategies to help the dyslexic child to be successfully integrated into the classroom environment.
Dyslexics have many strengths: oral skills, comprehension, good visual spatial awareness/artistic abilities. More and more dyslexic children could become talented and gifted members of our schools if we worked not only with their specific areas of difficulty, but also their specific areas of strengths from an early age. To do this we have to let go of outmoded viewpoints that a dyslexic child must first fail, in order to be identified.
These are the children of our future and they have a right to help and support before they develop the dreadful sense of failure which is so insidious.
Class teachers dealing with dyslexic children need to be flexible in their approach, so that they can, as far as possible, find a method that suits the pupil, rather than expecting that all pupils will learn in the same way.
Above all, there must be an understanding from all who teach them, that they may have many talents and skills. Their abilities must not be measured purely on the basis of their difficulties in acquiring literacy skills. Dyslexic children, like all children, thrive on challenges and success.
Patricia Lynn Hodge lives in Oman, and is a teacher and parent of a dyslexic child. Pat is a licensed Davis Dyslexia Correction Facilitator and also holds a Diploma in teaching ‘Specific Learning Difficulties/Dyslexia' using traditional methods. Pat has brought Davis methods to her local school system, where she has worked with several students, and continues to work with other teachers to assess her students and document the rates of progress with Davis methods.
A Paradigm Shift
To change our perspective of dyslexia from disability to gift, we must start with a clear, accurate understanding of what dyslexia really is, and what causes it. Doing this will bring out the positive as well as the negative aspects of the situation and allow us to see how dyslexia develops. Then the idea of correcting it won't seem far-fetched. Going a step beyond correcting the problem, we can also recognize and explore this condition as the gift it truly is.
Before a dyslexic person can fully realize and appreciate the positive side of dyslexia, the negative side should be addressed. That doesn't mean the positive side will not surface until the problems are solved. The gift is always there, even if it isn't recognized for what it is. In fact, many adult dyslexics use the positive side of dyslexia in their life work without realizing it. They just think they have a knack for doing something, without realizing their special talent comes from the same mental functions that prevent them from being able to read, write or spell very well.
The most common disabilities of dyslexia occur in reading, writing, spelling, or math; but there are many others. Each case of dyslexia is different, because dyslexia is a self-created condition. No two dyslexics have created it exactly the same.
In order to understand the gift of dyslexia, we need to view the learning disability known as dyslexia from a different angle.