I thought I would sum up a series of observations we have made. They are based on personal experiences, opinions by the many people we have been working with and helping as well as information we have gathered during our research. So the the topic of this blog is “Why we think getting an assessment for Dyslexia can be helpful”.
The majority of Dyslexics, young and old, usually feel one of their biggest problems is they don’t understand why they can’t learn easily. Blaming the school system is not useful because for the majority of people the school system works. It’s not perfect but it does work well enough for many students who graduate grade twelve successfully with at least average grades.
So what is the problem for those who find the system is just too “abstract” and confusing for them? Well we know the answer to that is simple; it’s just too “abstract” for the Dyslexic and many Right Brained individuals. But as easy as it is for me to say that, it is a huge mystery for those individuals who are just not getting it. Which brings me back to the topic of this blog. It is sometimes important to put a label on Dyslexia. I am not saying it is appropriate to label people but is can be extremely helpful to put a medical name to it.
Once a person has an assessment at least then teachers, parents, care-givers and service providers can hopefully get a plan put together that can help the individual. Also when a Dyslexic finally knows what their problems are caused by and can learn to understand what this particular learning style is all about, how to manage it and even benefit from it they usually experience tremendous relief.
Even though the actual definition of Dyslexia is almost impossible to nail down with so many conflicting opinions there are lots of methods that actually do help individuals with Dyslexia. As we have said repeatedly; there is no single method or procedure or system that works for everybody but there are many strategies to try.
Many learning and processing issues can be established using the testing procedures available that are accepted by educational systems, businesses and government. For instance let’s look at the idea of “Learning Styles”. We have said in all of our presentations and workshops that every individual has a unique learning style related to the senses (visual, auditory and kinesthetic) . And by the way, this is not a Dyslexic issue at all but it is very helpful to know when putting a learning plan together for the individual. Once the learning style is established some simple accommodations can be made that can make a significant difference in a Dyslexic’s life . Here is a good example that I recently became aware of. I learned that DMV tests in some areas of the USA and Canada can now be done auditorily for adults who have difficulty doing a written test . Can you imagine how simple that concept could make some teaching tasks? If the student is an Auditory Learner the vast array of pictures, charts and diagrams are not going to be of much value to their learning but a spoken discussion on the topic will be of great value.
As I mentioned before, the definition of Dyslexia changes depending on who you ask. To some it is just a problem with reading or writing and to others it is an inability to understand complex concepts or instructions and on and on. But Dyslexia is many things and most of them are at the very least mysterious to the Dyslexic person who has to deal with their inability to do seemingly simple mental tasks. By understanding there are different ways to process information and learn, so many of the people we work with have those “Ah Ha!” moments. Not only do they begin to understand that they can learn in their own way but that can realize that it might actually be a superior way to process information. The long list of famous and successful Dyslexics from all walks of life would probably agree.
So if you think you or someone you are concerned about has learning difficulties of any kind, please get an assessment. If for no other reason than to know what is wrong. With answers, then you can begin to understand the problems and start to come up with a plan to solve or minimize the issues. Good luck.
Editor for Dyslexia Victoria Online
CLICK HERE to fill out our checklist for Dyslexia indicators and find out if you might be Dyslexic.