Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects the way the brain interprets letters. Contrary to popular belief, many people with dyslexia do not see letters backwards. Instead, letters might jump around the page or appear completely jumbled. With intervention, preparation, practice, focus, and time, many of the disabling aspects of dyslexia can be overcome.
At Currey Ingram boarding school, our educators are trained to assist students who display signs of dyslexia. If you are a parent and have concerns, spend some time evaluating your child from a distance. You may also wish to confer with their primary classroom teacher. A few common signs of dyslexia include:
- The student cannot keep up with their same-age peers. They may read much slower than the majority of their classmates.
- Young children may struggle to formulate sounds. While mispronunciation is common throughout early childhood, a student with dyslexia might make incorrect sounds when speaking common words. This might persist beyond the elementary school years, and a boarding school that specializes in learning differences can make the transition to middle and high school easier for these students.
- With practice, student struggles to recall words from a spelling or vocabulary list. Young scholars with dyslexia may not be able to remember even short lists of words they have practiced for weeks on end.
- Is easily distracted during reading activities. Reading may be unpleasant, and the student might turn their attention to anything other than the written word. At Currey Ingram boarding school, students with dyslexia are encouraged to participate in reading assignments to the best of their ability. In a public school setting, these children may be considered disruptive.
- The child seems overwhelmed when given more than one task. An overload of information, particularly written information, may overwhelm a child with dyslexia.
- The child might be dubbed the “class clown.” It is not uncommon for students with learning differences to try and distract others from the fact that they cannot read as well as everyone else. Humor is one way this is achieved.
Keep in mind, however, that all learners progress differently. The above may not indicate a learning disorder and might point to something completely different, such as poor vision, mild intellectual disabilities, or ADHD.
There are many resources available for children diagnosed with dyslexia. Currey Ingram Academy offers an early intervention program for elementary school-age children. Continued academic intervention and support as well in intensive reading labs with highly skilled teachers for middle and high school students are available via the day or boarding school option.
How to help
Even if you give your child the best education possible, overcoming dyslexia is not done solely in the classroom. You can help your child by reading together often. While doing so, do not focus just on the letters. Point out the empty space between each letter, number, and punctuation mark. You can also make a game out of spotting words seen in a book in real life.
When choosing books, confirm that they are at your child’s reading level. You can do this by asking them to read a few paragraphs or about 100 words. If the child misses five words on a single page, they will find the book challenging and may get frustrated quickly.
More than anything, be patient. Learning to read is not easy, and learning to read when you have dyslexia is even more challenging. Students with dyslexia can learn to read, but it is not an overnight process. It takes time, practice, and support from educators and parents alike.
Unfortunately, there is much misinformation about dyslexia floating around online. Here are a few facts that all parents of a child with dyslexia should know.
First, children do not “grow out” of dyslexia. This is not a learning delay but instead a learning difference that will stick with your son or daughter throughout their lifetime. While many adults live with severe dyslexia, early intervention can improve your child’s ability to read. You might compare it to being short in stature; stepping stools and lowered cabinets can help you reach things, but you can not change your height. Similarly, reading exercises and tools like Audible can make reading easier, but the dyslexia is always there.
Children with dyslexia are not lazy. Something our boarding school teachers know perhaps better than anyone is just how hard children with dyslexia have to work to learn to read. These students are not lazy or stubborn.
Children with dyslexia may excel in other areas. While reading is essential, children do not always have to master the written word to show their talents in other areas. Many boarding school students with dyslexia excel in mathematics. A few of the most talented people with dyslexia in history include Richard Branson, Leonardo da Vinci, Walt Disney, former Presidents George W. Bush, George Washington, and John F. Kennedy, and scientist Maggie Adrerin-Pocock.
For more information about how Currey Ingram can help your child or to find out more about the enrollment process, contact our main office at 615.507.3242. Currey Ingram offers both day school and boarding school options for children in grades K-12.
Source for famous people with dyslexia. https://www.helenarkell.org.uk/about-dyslexia/famous-dyslexics.php