Being a neurodevelopmental disorder, dyslexia is one of the most common language-based learning disabilities. The symptoms of dyslexia are demonstrated by children and adults who struggle with reading when they ought to be capable and motivated to read fluently and adequately for their age. Hence, to reduce the severity of the symptoms and eliminate the detrimental effects of the disorder on children’s behavior, different ways of educational support are required. These approaches are mainly based on the increase of engagement of the students and various representations of the new information.
The primary characteristics typical of dyslexia are poor decoding, spelling, and reading comprehension. Information processing problems associated with dyslexia often lead to difficulties with working memory, rapid naming, and automaticity of basic skills (Juneja, 2018). The student may also have organizational, sequencing, and motor skills difficulties. This disorder may occur in any socio-economic circumstances, and a child may be prone to dyslexia, regardless of their language.
While typically, children learn to read at the age of six to seven, children diagnosed with dyslexia struggle to read even when they reach adulthood (Irdamurni et al., 2018). What is more, such struggles of everyday life result in “frustration and despondency,” which can later lead to depression and aggression (Irdamurni et al., 2018, p.167). Even if a person has adequate oral language comprehension skills, poor decoding or limited fluency can impair reading comprehension.
Besides inaccurate and slow reading, children may have poor spelling skills, such as difficulty learning to spell or spelling even common words accurately. This difficulty stems from poor “phonological component of language” and results in undeveloped vocabulary and a shortage of background knowledge (Proctor et al., 2017, p.2). As a cognitive ability and a basis for an effective classroom-teaching strategy, the phonological component of language is often undervalued.
As mentioned before, students who struggle with dyslexia have unstable emotions. Since these children cannot keep up with the rest of the class, they experience inferiority and, as a result, may lose interest and motivation for studies. Multiple pieces of research show that dyslexic children are prone to juvenile delinquency (Huang et al., 2020). Hence, people with this disorder have a negative image of themselves and relationships with others.
Nevertheless, dyslexia has different levels of severity, meaning that this disorder may be overcome and is not necessarily untreatable. With the help of specific instructions and help from both parents and teachers, a dyslexic child has a chance to keep up with peers and obtain the desired level of fluency and comprehension (Washburn et al., 2017). However, it must be noted that even though dyslexia is developmental, it will not be outgrown by itself; a sequence of actions must be performed to alleviate the symptoms of dyslexia.
Therefore, there is a need for specific methods which could accelerate and facilitate the learning process and increase the quality of life. The first approach is task analysis, which consists of breaking down a task into small steps and systematically instructing students on how to complete each step. For example, instead of putting a child under a lot of stress during reading, a teacher might start with easy tasks, such as previewing the text, identifying unknown words and their meanings, and reviewing the learned information afterward (Witzel & Mize, 2018, p.34). Such an approach helps a child eliminate the possibility of a mistake and a feeling of dissatisfaction and disappointment.
Another approach to help students with dyslexia is through explicit instruction, where a teacher explains the objective of a lesson and interacts with children. There is a high chance of better comprehension of reading material through active interactions with other students and teachers and explaining opinions and solutions (Witzel & Mize, 2018, p.34). Having clear instructions and expectations of the lesson lessens the stress level and increases the productivity of children with dyslexia.
Furthermore, it has long been recommended that students with reading difficulties learn new content by applying multiple representations. Multisensory learning involves “auditory, visual, and tactile” components, which can help a child understand the content faster and retain the information for extended periods (Witzel & Mize, 2018, p.35). With such input, students gain a better understanding and memory of literacy components with which they are familiar, including letter identification and phonological memory.
A field-dependent approach relies on providing a student with examples that offer continuous instruction to help guide him or her through the process of understanding. In field-dependent learning, teachers systematically demonstrate how to complete an intricacy by analyzing the task and guiding students through step-by-step progressions. Students receive support until they can complete the project independently (Witzel & Mize, 2018, p.35). Learning occurs gradually to support memory, which, in turn, minimizes errors for the student.
Hence, a positive schooling environment with suitable methods and approaches to teaching will reduce the severity of symptoms in children with dyslexia and improve their quality of life and studying process. Children with dyslexia cannot keep up with their peers due to comprehension and reading difficulties and, as a result, need additional help. Thus, educators need to consider this and apply various methods and strategies of proper teaching to make changes.
Juneja, P. (2018). Dyslexia: Challenging behaviors and characteristics. Indian Journal of Health and Wellbeing, 9(7), 964-967.
Web.Huang, Y., He, M., Li, A., Lin, Y., Zhang, X., & Wu, K. (2020). Personality, behavior characteristics, and life quality impact of children with dyslexia. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(4), 2-14. Web.
Irdamurni, I., Kasiyati, K., Zulmiyetri, Z., & Taufan, J. (2018). The effect of mingles model is to improve reading skills for students with dyslexia in primary school. Journal of ICSAR, 2(2), 167-170. Web.
Proctor, C. M., Mather, N., Stephens-Pisecco, T. L., & Jaffe, L. E. (2017). Assessment of dyslexia. Communique, 46(3), 1-23. Web.
Washburn, E. K., Mulcahy, C. A., Musante, G., & Joshi, R. (2017). Novice teachers’ knowledge of reading-related disabilities and dyslexia. Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal, 15(2), 169-191. Web.
Witzel, B., & Mize, M. (2018). Meeting the Needs of Students with Dyslexia and Dyscalculia. SRATE Journal, 27(1), 31-39. Web.