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Useful BBC Article About Dyslexia - BBC Skillswise

I came across this extremely useful article from BBC Skillswise that talks about what it is like to have Dyslexia at school and gives some interesting facts and pointers for those concerned about students that perhaps are not diagnosed with Dyslexia.

BBC Skillswise
BBC Skillswise


Dyslexia

This article gives information to anyone who’d like to know more about dyslexia. The word ‘dyslexia’ generally refers to a range of difficulties affecting learning to read and write. However, this is not the whole picture but part of a fascinating subject area where a struggling reader or writer’s intelligence is not affected. That same person may have also exceptional abilities.
Childhood experiences
Up to 10% of the population may be affected with dyslexia. What does it feel like to be considered at best ‘a bit stupid’, at worst labelled ‘lazy’ because you can’t read or write as well as others? Imagine your frustration as a child if lines dance across your page forming patterns while others find meaning in something you can’t understand or when you write a word and spell it wrongly each time. Without help, how soon before you might switch off, get bored, frustrated or even play around and skip school?

Dyslexia
If undiagnosed dyslexia has been your childhood experience of education and no one   helped, consider these questions for an adult:

•    How do you get around when trying to read train or bus timetables?
•    What literacy skills do you need for a job?
•    How will you cope with internet communications instead of phoning?
•    Can you help kids with spelling and homework?

In this story there are the lucky ones who get by. I’ve known business men who only let wives or secretaries into the secret to cover for them. Others compensate by taking jobs with few literacy requirements or find strategies hiding problems but never realising their full potential.

Talent
The lucky, successful or talented in their field may be confident talking about their dyslexia, like Richard Branson or Whoopi Goldberg. There are many famous dyslexic people but the less fortunate can suffer from low self esteem. It can be hard studying for qualifications and finding jobs. It’s suggested that around 50% of offenders can have dyslexia related problems. Fortunately, there is now awareness of the subject and some of the advantages of dyslexia. Many well known people now discuss the subject and the opportunities of ‘neurological differences’.

Diagnosing dyslexia
Although dyslexia isn’t ‘curable’ a diagnosis is an important step for children and adults  Diagnoses highlight specific inefficiencies with auditory, visual or motor processes. If we’ve no problems we see letters and words, hear sounds and discriminate between them. We memorise how sounds link to letter patterns forming words with meaning (phonic decoding) or we remember how words look. We co-ordinate these memories with our hand movements to reproduce written language. 

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