learning; disability; sight; vision; reading; difficulty; difficulties; spelling; dyslexia; learn; read; spell; dyslexic; learning; ;
What is dyslexia?
The brain is like a really clever detective. It collects all the messages from all your senses, seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting, then uses them like clues to work out what is happening all around you, thinks things through and tells you what to do.
If someone has dyslexia [say dis-lex-i-a] then the collecting part of the brain gets the seeing and hearing messages muddled up so that the detective part of the brain can't work things out correctly and is not sure what to do.
This means that the person feels confused and gets upset trying to work out what are the right messages.
Kids who have dyslexia are often pretty smart or even super smart, so it must be really frustrating for them to have problems in reading, spelling, listening and understanding.
Dyslexia literally means having trouble with reading, but the word is often used for other problems such as spelling problems or trouble with maths.
dyslexia look like?
There are many symptoms of dyslexia. People who are dyslexic [that means they have dyslexia] may have one or more of these.
- Swapping letters over when reading. Like saying was instead of saw, mixing up b and d, p and q.
- Writing letters the wrong way round.
- Finding it really hard to write by hand.
- Finding it difficult to copy things accurately off the board.
- Not remembering or understanding what they just read.
- Not remembering or understanding what they have just heard.
- Can't repeat what they have just been told.
- Having difficulty writing down what they think.
- Understanding and following instructions is really hard.
- Mixing up left and right.
- Getting letters the wrong way round when spelling out loud.
Of course there are times when all of us don't listen well, or make mistakes in writing, but we can usually know when we have not been on task or have made a mistake and we can put it right.
A person with dyslexia will have to learn to be very, very careful to check their work and their understanding all the time.
If you or your friend are trying really hard to learn but are finding it really hard to understand, if you have problems in reading, writing and spelling even when you spend a lot of time trying your hardest, then you need to talk.
- Talk to your mum, dad or caregiver.
- Talk to your teacher.
- Talk to your doctor.
Mum may talk to your teacher and your doctor.
Your doctor may want you to have eye tests and psychological tests to see why you are having problems learning. Don't worry these tests don't hurt.
The eye doctor will want to see how well your eyes work in different ways.
Can you see things clearly when they are close to you
Can you see things clearly when they are farther away
Do both eyes work together to give you a clear picture
These tests will help decide if you have a vision problem or a learning problem like dyslexia.
Your teacher may give you some special help. If the tests show that you have dyslexia then there are special programs that you can do at home and at school to help you learn and cope.
"I have learned that I make spelling mistakes even when I’m trying really hard so I use a dictionary or my spellchecker all the time to check my work." Anna "
"My mum told me that she has dyslexia too, but she has a really good job and is really smart." Jason
"My teacher told me that lots of really famous people had dyslexia, I think one of them was Albert Einstein. She said that dyslexic kids are not dumb they just learn differently." Mayur
"I try really hard to write neatly but my page doesn't look as neat as my friends. My teacher knows that I am trying and she has told me to always write up close to the margin and always use a ruler to underline work and that helps to make my page look neater. I get to do a lot of work on my computer too so I can use a spellcheck." Kristen
Ask an athlete how did she get to be so good at her sport or event and she will say, 'practise'.
Everyone has some talent or gift for doing something really well, but everyone also finds some things really hard to do. Everyone has to work really hard at some things.
Kids with dyslexia have to work really hard on listening too.
- Listening to what people say.
- Listening to instructions.
- Listening to themselves reading out loud or inside their heads.
- Practising spelling and practising writing.
All this means extra work for a kid. Then the writing may still not look too neat!
Talk with mum and your teacher so that you still get some time for fun too!
Want to know more about people who became famous even though they had dyslexia? http://www.dyslexia.com/qafame.htm
We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.