‘Dys’ means ‘difficulty’ and ‘lexia’ means ‘words’; thus ‘dyslexia’ means ‘a person who has difficulty with words’. Dyslexia is a disorder that affects millions of people all around the world. Approximately 5 -15% of the world population is diagnosed to be suffering from various degrees of dyslexia. It is more common in males than in females.
Dyslexia is caused due to impairment in the brain’s ability to translate images received from the eyes or ears into understandable language. It is not due to vision loss or hearing problems.
A dyslexic person has difficulty in verbal skills, abstract reasoning, hand-eye coordination, concentration, perception, memory and social adjustment. These problems result in the individual having poor grades and becomes classified as an under achiever. Due to this the dyslexic child is often labeled as lazy, low intellect and unmotivated. Eventually, this affects the child's personality resulting in a low self-esteem. The child often takes on the role of becoming the class clown, being rebellious, feeling like a misfit and keeping to himself / herself, being difficult and refusing to attend school.
Dyslexia is a lifelong condition and so it may affect an individual differently at various stages of life. It is seen that even though a dyslexic child has great difficulty in coping with normal schoolwork, he may be interested in other aspects like sporting or extracurricular activities. It is here that the child needs to be encouraged tremendously so that he/she can overcome the low self-esteem.
Awareness and help for dyslexia is still not available as commonly as it should be. The first step in treating dyslexia is early intervention, followed by multi-sensory teaching approach and emotional support. Diagnostic tests and treatment can be quite expensive.