READyslexics workshop: How to teach children with learning disabilities

Fifty-two teachers attend workshop on dyslexia, dyscalculia.


Express May 31, 2011

KARACHI:


Thomas Edison, Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci are some of the geniuses in history who suffered from dyslexia — a condition quite common among children.


The speakers at the READyslexics workshop on Saturday recalled stories of famous people in history who suffered from learning disabilities. Tasks, as simple as reading and spelling, are difficult for children suffering from dyslexia, they said.

Many geniuses were poor performers at school, agreed the speakers. Einstein was expelled from school when he was 11 years old because he could not read.

In order to ensure that teachers can recognise the same learning disability among their students, a three-hour workshop was organised by READyslexics. The session aimed to familiarise the teachers with the problems faced by children with learning difficulties. Dyslexia is a neurological condition which can be inherited, said a remedial teacher at READyslexics, Anika Khan. The word ‘dyslexia’ means ‘a difficulty with reading’. It is a common condition and research shows that two out of 10 children have reading difficulties.

Dyslexic children may also face other problems with spelling, writing, fine-motor skills, mathematical ability, organisation and oral language. The teachers were given information about the problems dyslexics face during their schooling and how this can impact their self-esteem because of their ‘failure’.

The session focused on indicators that could warn schools about children who may be ‘at-risk’ — children usually show signs to indicate a specific pattern in their difficulty.

“Skills that appear unimportant, such as rhyming and the ability to break words into syllables, are crucial to the development of reading and spelling. But dyslexics are unable to do such simple tasks,” explained Khan.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2011.

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