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CHILDRENS PROBLEMS: DYSLEXIA

Dyslexia is an impairment of an individual who once knew or would be expected to know how to read or understand letters and/or numbers. A normal IQ differentiates this difficulty from those who have, say, brain damage or a low IQ.

Dyslexia is commonly overlooked. It ranges from a mild inability to differentiate between, say, the letters cp’ and ‘q’ or the numbers 6 and 9 to the transgressional dyslexia between the letter E and 3. Speech is normal but written words or letters may be transposed.

In itself, dyslexia is not necessarily a great problem but its social consequences, especially if not detected, can be devastating. A child may find himself/herself ridiculed in class and create an abhorrence of letters and numbers. This not only affects the child’s academic standards but can lead to social withdrawal and difficulties in making friends. Children who are ridiculed in class may choose not to participate in sports for fear of more humiliation. Therefore early motor skills may be denied, adding to a further sense of inadequacy.

The human being is remarkably adaptable and will often find defence measures, such as becoming unruly at school – a useful tool in avoiding facing up to dyslexia. Because of this, dyslexia may not be discovered until a later age, possibly even into adulthood. I mention this because it is never too late to use the available treatments with great success.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Discuss the matter with the child’s teacher or headteacher, who should have good knowledge of this condition.

There is strong evidence that certain deficiencies may cause or enhance dyslexia. Discuss with a nutritionist any suitable dietetic changes and supplements: use more zinc, lecithin and amino acids, which are used in neurotransmission; above all, beware of dehydration.

There are well-established remedial techniques and, in severe cases, special schooling that will enable a dyslexic to function perfectly normally in society.

Any child who avoids letters and numbers and is particularly shy, antisocial or falling behind in school should be investigated for dyslexia. Any association of these characteristics with clumsiness should also be investigated.

Referral through your GP or the local dyslexia organization to a specialist psychologist in this area is a prerequisite.

Specialized training programmes, remedial exercises and training techniques can be practised in special units and also taught to parents to perform at home.

Homeopathic remedies, chosen according to the constitution of the child, are potentially beneficial.

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