I have been working to find solutions for Dyslexia for over twenty years because all three of my children are Dyslexic. Our family has a lot of personal experience with “Primary Dyslexia“. It basically runs rampant on both sides of our families which is why Primary Dyslexia has also been our main focus.
There are three main types. “Primary Dyslexia” is a genetic form. This is what our families have experienced. These Dyslexics are right brain dominant thinkers. The majority of the world’s population processes information primarily from the left which is linear and sequential by nature. They learn best with a step by step approach. Right brain thinkers however respond well to learning with the “big picture” or overview of everything, whole images of words rather than phonics and relating all learning to real things or concepts. They see the “forest before the trees”. In other words, they have to see the conclusion of anything before they can see the parts, sequences or meaning of a subject. The problem for these Dyslexics is that general teaching methods in many schools worldwide are organized primarily for the left brain student.
With “Trauma Dyslexia” which is often caused by damage to the hearing from continuous flu, cold or ear infections in young children, the child cannot hear sounds in words or “phonemes” so they have a difficult time with sounding words out, spelling and learning to read. Older children or adults develop “Trauma Dyslexia” from a brain disease or illness that affects their ability to comprehend language.These people usually can read, spell and write prior to the trauma. There are different types of remedial reading and spelling programs aimed at their learning issues.
Developmental Dyslexia is caused by problems with brain development of a fetus that causes impaired neurological abilities in word recognition and spelling. The difficulties and severity of this condition generally improves with age. The child may experience Dyslexic symptoms throughout childhood but can perform well in college if they receive proper instruction. These children generally respond well to phonics.
Two other areas that are being studied that demonstrate Dyslexic-like indicators are children suffering from FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) and children with ADD or ADHD. FAS is caused by damage to the fetus when the mother drinks alcohol during her pregnancy. Cases can be slight to severe with many problems including Dyslexic traits. Apparently no amount of alcohol is considered a safe limit when pregnant. Teaching these children can be very challenging and heart breaking. Children with ADD and ADHD seem to often experience spelling, reading and writing problems that are also similar to Dyslexia. They respond to different programs and the parent should try several or combination until they find the right fit for their child. We have often had good success with these children with our program also.
My own daughter’s Primary Dyslexic problems in school started us on the long road finding solutions and learning to understand how a “right-brained” person sees the world. We believe the concept of phonics to be too abstract for these young children. Rather, we believe it is more important and more appropriate to teach children learning skills that suit the particular way they process information. This method allows the student to complete classroom assignments satisfactorily.
We have been successful with my children, the many students we have tutored and all the teachers, tutors and parents who have been using our strategies, accommodations and adjustments. The many people who have read and used our materials and methods have all reacted by making the same comment: “Oh my gosh, this makes total sense, this is exactly what I have been looking for!”
We believe Primary Dyslexia is not a disability, it is a learning strength. Primary Dyslexics are creative, adaptive, problem-solving global thinkers.
If I wasn’t dyslexic, I probably wouldn’t have won the Games. If I had been a better reader, then that would have come easily, sports would have come easily… and I never would have realized that the way you get ahead in life is hard work.’
We invite you to check out our website – Dyslexia Victoria Online at: www.dyslexiavictoria.com