Life of a Dyslexic Child
By Shawal Shaud
Children all over the world learn through different modes and that too at their own pace. However, reading is one of the most common ways to encourage a healthy growth pattern among young children. Reading helps children in learning to express and manage their emotions in an effective manner but what if instead of helping the child, reading becomes a constant struggle? Where despite of all the efforts, the child persistently lags behind his peers as he faces difficulty in recognizing and decoding words. In such a scenario, it is quite possible that the child is suffering from a learning disorder called dyslexia.
Dyslexia is majorly linked to trouble in learning to read. It hampers a child’s ability to recognize the sounds and breaking down words into smaller chunks to read them out easily. Resultantly, the child finds it difficult to read, write and spell out any sort of text. They might make up for that by memorizing words but in the long run they’ll face difficulty in identifying new words while retaining the previous ones. Since reading is associated to higher self-confidence in children, a dyslexic child gets affected socially.
In the words of Scott Bezsylko, the executive director of Winston Preparatory School, which specializes in educating kids with learning disorders,
“A dyslexic person who has word-finding difficulties can have trouble with their expressive language. That has a social impact, in addition to your difficulties with reading and writing that make you feel not so good about yourself.”
Since reading is associated with higher self-confidence in children, a dyslexic child gets affected socially. In the words of Scott Bezsylko, the executive director of Winston Preparatory School, which specializes in educating kids with learning disorders, “A dyslexic person who has word-finding difficulties can have trouble with their expressive language. That has a social impact, in addition to your difficulties with reading and writing that make you feel not so good about yourself.”
Inability to meet the expectations of parents and teachers adds on to the frustration of children with dyslexia because in the eyes of the world, that child is an enthusiastic individual who is not willing to put in the effort to read and write.
Dyslexics and their parents often get to hear, “He’s such a bright child; if only he would try harder”. If only people were in their shoes so they could realize that no matter how hard a dyslexic is trying, it is still not enough.
At times dyslexic children develop unrealistic expectations to overcome their anxiety because their experience over the years has taught them that it is unacceptable to make a mistake. Occasionally, dyslexics surprise everyone by accomplishing tasks way beyond the ability of their peers but in the very next moment they may find themselves stuck in a task that is unachievable for them.
This is commonly referred to as “Walking into black holes”. Dyslexics need a thorough understanding of their learning disability in order to overcome these problems and to predict their success and failure. Since peoples with dyslexia face additional hurdles in fulfilling their dreams, it is very important that they are assessed at an early age otherwise, they may get trapped in a cycle of feeling guilty and inadequate. Lack of support in the foundation years for dyslexic children effects their self-esteem which leads to problems with social relationships.
Reasons why dyslexic children face problems in social interactions:
- Dyslexic children lack physical and social maturity as compared to their age fellows which result in a weak self-image and less peer acceptance. This social immaturity might make a dyslexic child uncomfortable in a social situation.
- Dyslexics often face difficulty in comprehending social cues so they might be oblivious to the amount of appropriate personal distance in a gathering or may seem to be insensitive to others’ body language.
- Oral language functioning is also affected by dyslexia so a dyslexic child might face difficulty in answering questions fluently which is a huge disadvantage for them as they enter adolescence because at that time language plays a very central role in their relationship with others.
These issues can cause increased anxiety and fear of failure in a dyslexic child and in order to get rid of the anxiousness, that child will try to avoid awkward situations. The avoidance in most cases is criticized by parents and teachers which builds up the frustration level and it translates into apparent rebelliousness on the child’s end. Therefore, it is very important to understand the root cause of these problems so that you can support in your child in his journey. At the end of the day all a dyslexic child needs to thrive is support and appreciation from loved ones. No one knows your child like you do and honestly, that is the only thing that matters.