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Dyslexia Tuition Tutor Singapore

What is Dyslexia?

The word dyslexia comes from Greek - dys meaning difficulty and lex meaning speak, hence dyslexia refers to difficulty with words or languages. It is a learning disability that affects the way a child learns to read, write and spell. This often, in turn, shows up in the child's inability to cope with school work.

What causes it?

The exact cause of dyslexia is unclear but scientists know for sure that it has to do with how the brain is wired, and that it runs in families. Dyslexia affects males and females nearly equally, and people from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds as well.

Dyslexia describes a different kind of mind and has nothing to do with intelligence, and can carry surprising talents despite its well-known disadvantages.

"Dyslexics are overrepresented in the top ranks of people who are unusually insightful, who bring a new perspective, who think out of the box," -Sally Shaywitz, a leading dyslexia neuroscientist at Yale University, USA.

John F Kennedy, Lee Kuan Yew, Richard Branson, William Hewlett (co-founder of Hewlett Packard), Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Orlando Bloom and Tom Cruise are among the leading politicians, entrepreneurs, scientists and artistes who have turned the deficits of dyslexia into advantages.

What are the effects of dyslexia?

The impact that dyslexia has is different for each person, and depends on the severity of the condition and the effectiveness of instruction or remediation. The main difficulty is with reading, spelling, and writing. Some dyslexics manage to learn early reading and spelling tasks, especially with excellent instruction, but later experience their most debilitating problems when more complex language skills are required, such as grammar, understanding textbook material, and writing essays.

People with dyslexia can also have oral language difficulties, in spite of having been exposed to good language models in their homes and good language instruction in school. They may have difficulties expressing themselves clearly, or to fully understand what others mean when they speak. Such problems are often difficult to recognize, but they can lead to major problems in school, in the workplace, and in relating to other people. The effects of dyslexia reach well beyond the classroom.

Dyslexia can also affect a person's self-esteem. Students with dyslexia often end up feeling "dumb" and less capable than they actually are. After experiencing a great deal of stress due to academic problems, a student may become discouraged about continuing in school. Their frustration often stems from their inability to live up to their parents' and teachers' expectations. Often times, parents and teachers will observe a bright and enthusiastic child that they feel could do better if 'he only tries harder'.

What are the signs?

Most people associate dyslexia with mirror writing - that is writing letters in reversal e.g writing b as d. This however is just one sign and does not occur in all cases. Other problems experienced by dyslexics include:

  • Difficulty learning to speak

  • Poor reading ability, despite exposure to books at a younger age

  • Lots of misspellings, even of common words, eg 'blue' for 'bule', 'does' for 'dose', 'god' for 'dog', 'b' for 'd', 'p' for 'q'

  • Weak working memory. Difficulty remembering telephone numbers, lists of instructions and taking notes in class

  • Uncertain of left and right

  • Problems copying, from the board or book

  • Poor handwriting

  • This is 'HELLO' for '0773H'. What is your thought?

Not all those who have difficulties with these skills are dyslexic. A formal psychological testing is the only way to confirm a diagnosis of suspected dyslexia.

How is dyslexia treated?

Dyslexics unfortunately do not outgrow their difficulties but their struggle with learning can be overcome by specialized remediation and compensatory strategies. Early identification and treatment is crucial, before the debilitating effects of frustration and failure set in. According to the International Dyslexia Association "The principles of instruction and content of a multisensory structured language programme are essential for effective teaching methodologies".

The Hornsby method, the Linda Mood programme and Orton-Gillingham Approach are some of the methods used to help dyslexics overcome their learning difficulties. Of these four, the Orton-Gillingham Approach has been around for the longest time, and validated by research and experience to be the most effective. It was developed in the early 1930s by neuropsychologist Samuel Orton and gifted teacher, Anna Gillingham, and based on the premise that dyslexics need explicit, systematic and structured phonics instruction delivered in a multisensory way.

Deliciously Dyslexic (Dyslexia)

This episode of Singlish: Big Brother and Dr. Jiajia discuss about Dyslexia.
What's it like to be dyslexic child?

Keen to find out more?

If you are interested to learn more about dyslexia and the Orton-Gillingham Approach. Visit the following websites:

The MSL Centre: www.msl-orton.com
International Dyslexia Association: www.interdys.org
The Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators: www.ortonacademy.com

The MSL Centre is the first academic therapy centre in Singapore that specialises in the Orton-Gillingham Approach to deliver one-on-one academic therapy in English to children with dyslexia. The Centre is linked to the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE) in New York, USA.

Dyslexic Children

1

Dyslexic Child has difficulty in learning to read

2

Letter and number reversals are a common warning sign of dyslexia

3

Dyslexia can be related to hereditary, hormonal influences, brain injury

4

Ideally, the treatment of dyslexia involves planning between the parents and the teachers

5

Diagnosis of dyslexia involves reviewing the child's processing of information from seeing, hearing, and participating in activities.

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