Dyslexia was often brushed under the carpet till about a year or so ago when the much loved Aamir Khan Starrer Taare Zameen Par made waves with its simple narrative about how a teacher tries to help a child overcome dyslexia. Since then, it almost became a fashion statement to be suffering from this veritable learning disorder that prevents people from speaking and spelling the way other do. Everybody who made silly spelling errors hid under the garb of dyslexia while those actually having the problem suffered silently. The problem with dyslexia is that teachers have to be prepared to shun their comfortable excuse of calling the dyslexic child problematic, slow or stupid and accept that he/she is a challenge to them as much as reading is a challenge to him/her. Here are some other challenges faced by teachers while helping a child with dyslexia.
Problems In Teaching Dyslexic Students
Here are some problems that are faced by teachers when they have to handle dyslexic students:
‘Phonological Core Deficits’
The huge phrase can be broken down to mean that students who suffer from dyslexia face difficulty making use of information relating to phonetic and structural kind – that is, they cannot attribute a definite sound to a certain letter or syllable that they may run into. For example, they may not be able to find the difference between the sounds of ‘c’ in words like ‘care’ and ‘casket’ and the sound of the letter ‘k’. They may often spell the word ‘care’ with ‘k’ and so on. Thus, when it comes to giving instructions in written form, the students may have difficulty. Handouts, schedules, and instructions on the notice board carry no meaning for them.
Reading and writing come more slowly to such students and they are often the butt of jokes for the fact that other students of their age are able to read and write more fluently than they can. This pushes them into totally refusing to read out loud in front of the class for the fear of being ridiculed, an attitude that is often read by teachers as stubbornness and obstinacy.
The ways of teaching students who are dyslexic are very different from teaching students who are not. The stress on the overall development of dyslexic students has to be laid on and they have to be taught newer and more interesting ways of learning the phonetic sound made by each letter. They may even have difficulty solving mathematical problems that deal with space of chronology. They have to, thus, be taught the corresponding theories in a way that they understand the importance of chronology in mathematics. They have to also be taught the similarities and differences between speech sounds and visual patterns of various letters – like the fact that they may be confused about the sounds of ‘b’ and ‘d’ or the sounds of ‘p’ and ‘q’ and may end up writing one for the other.
Too Many To Remember
A dyslexic child needs to keep things structured and in order in his mind while writing or reading, a task they have to learn every day, unlike other students who do so automatically and fluently.