‘My child should top the class!
‘ It is almost every parent’s dream and they invariably end up putting relentless performance pressure on their child. Cut throat competition which is a patented feature of 21st century doesn’t help child’s cause either!
Now, there are two things. First, everyone cannot stand first, can one? And secondly, those who are in second, third and nth position are not necessarily inferior. In fact, they are not!
Every individual has a unique set of capabilities, strengths and ideas. So judge and encourage them on those aspects rather than persistently comparing with peer group. In fact, it is even better if you don’t judge them at all!
There is one special group of children who are intelligent-ally (so called IQ) normal, and with sufficient opportunities and facilities in the environment they can do fairly well in life. Still, they can’t cope up with their peer group academically due to their special condition. As a result, they get neglected, labelled as subnormal and the parents and child both end up suffering unnecessary and unwarranted mental trauma. Before labelling the child as mentally subnormal, try to find out the cause. He/she may be a dyslexic child.
What is dyslexia?
It is an unexpected difficulty in reading and may be writing in intelligent-ally normal children. 80% of the children with learning difficulty are dyslexic.
1. Primary: permanent dysfunction of brain and its hereditory and runs in families.
2. Secondary: It is developmental, due to hormonal changes in early fetal life. It improves with age.
3. Trauma induced to brain area involved in reading and writing.
Types of dyslexia:
Visual: number and letter reversal.
Auditory: difficulty in perceiving sounds.
Family history can be an important risk factor as about 50% of dyslexic children had parents with dyslexia, and there are 50% chances if a sibling has dyslexia. Though it is a persistent and chronic condition, but with focussed early and intensive intervention, it can be modified.
1. Teachers and parents should work in coordination.
2. They should be made to listen to correct pronunciation of words.
3. These children should be made to read aloud in the class so that they can learn the fluency and pronunciation.
They may not be very fluent even after much practice, but should be consistently encouraged to read aloud.
These people need special attention and should not be judged on their inability to speak in an exam or interview as they may know the answer but unable to express.
They should be given extra time in exams and interviews.
These kids should be made/allowed to use laptops with spell checks.
They should be provided with recorded books and lecture notes.
They should be constantly assessed and encouraged for their ability.
So, next time when you notice that your kid or student is not paying enough attention to studies or is avoiding school, just before you scold him or compare him an extra brilliant neighbour every parent seem to have, please try to find the problem.Talk to the child and his teacher, and you may come to know the suffering your child may have been going through. He/she may be dyslexic!