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Dealing with Dyslexia

Does your child struggle to read? Dyslexia is a term that’s loosely used to describe reading and learning difficulties. The medical fraternity defines it as a neurological disorder which causes messages sent to the brain to get muddled and interpreted incorrectly. When messages are not processed correctly, kids may struggle with reading, spelling, writing and studying.

Watching for Symptoms

Dyslexia doesn’t mean your child is below average. Children diagnosed with dyslexia are usually as smart as their peers, but struggle to read, spell and comprehend what they read. They become frustrated at not being able to do these as well as their classmates. Children who are dyslexic often reverse letters like b and d, or p and q. They may also swop the order of letters in a word, like ‘nap’ for of ‘pan’, or find it very difficult to copy off the board.

Foundations of Reading

A diagnosis of dyslexia doesn’t mean that your child’s school career is doomed to failure. Monique van Heerden, owner of the West Rand Edublox Reading and Learning Clinic, doesn’t subscribe to the theory that dyslexia is a neurological disorder. She believes that so many kids are labelled dyslexic long before they’ve even mastered the basic steps to reading. Monique shares this opinion with many others in the fields of education and medicine. “Learning is a stratified process. Without a good foundation and mastering the individual steps to reading, children simply don’t learn to read well,” explains Monique.

Learning to read is like learning to play ice hockey. Before you kit your child out with the protective gear required by the sport and expect him to make the team, he first needs to learn how to ice skate, both forwards and backwards. He must also learn to turn and stop. Once he has mastered this step, he can move on to learning to control the puck with the stick, to pass and receive a pass, and to shoot. Only when these skills are well practised and achieved, and he also knows the rules of the game, can he possibly make the team.

Kids need to master language before they can start reading. It’s a vital first step that begins at your baby’s birth. Next, cognitive skills like concentration, perception, memory and logical thinking must be mastered. Without these properly in place, your child won’t be able to focus on his reading, identify or recognise letters, syllables and words, remember them, and read with comprehension.

Help at Hand

At Edublox, kids are offered a lifeline for dyslexia. Irrespective of age, the skills that form the basis or foundation of reading and spelling can be taught and improved with the right training.

“Weak cognitive skills can be strengthened and normal cognitive skills can be enhanced to increase ease and performance in learning,” says Monique. Specific brain-training exercises, as done at Edublox clinics, can strengthen these weaknesses and lead to increased performance in reading, spelling and learning.

Contact Monique on (011) 764-5824 or 082-531-7200. Alternatively visit www.edublox.co.za.