Sunday, October 28, 2012

Learning disabilities and dyslexia Part 2

Over the past 8 years I have taught 26 dyslexic students. Most of them were certified dyslexics by experts in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Among all the 26 students, only 2 had exceptional problems with mathematics. I have also taught one student mathematics. She is an intelligent girl and was very fluent in her English and could read more fluently than most students in her school but had problems grasping mathematics. She READ FLUENTLY and as such she cannot be dyslexic. But she had a problem with mathematics. Would it be proper to call her dyslexic just because some Association decides to include dyscalculia and dysgraphia under the dyslexia umbrella?

I had two students who were very active and I had to literally make them run around my sofa set every 15 minutes or so. Both insisted that I change the book we were reading every 15 minutes or so. They had similar problems as my dyslexic students when it came to reading in English. My other 24 students did not have hyperactivity problem. Why would these unscrupulous Associations want to include ADD under the dyslexia umbrella if not to make money from parents of dyslexic children?

One student came to me with coloured glasses. His father said it was prescribed by an optician in Singapore. I asked that student to try and read with his ordinary glasses instead of his coloured glasses. That was the last day he used his coloured glasses. Apparently coloured glasses are used by those who have Irlen Syndrome. None of my 26 students ever complained about words “running out of their pages” or “words blurring”. I am not suggesting that Irlen Syndrome does not exist just because my dyslexic students did not experience “words jumping up and down or running out of pages”. However, I would say that dyslexia is not Irlen Syndrome and children with this syndrome are not necessarily dyslexic.

I had one student, whom I had called Ted in my blog, who could not read because he has had astigmatism from birth. Once this was corrected he could read with no problem. All I had to do was to teach him a bit of phonics which he had probably missed out because of his eye sight. He learnt that very quickly. Prior to getting glasses to cope with his ailment he was coping with class work by memorizing his books. After two months I asked his parents to stop sending him to me as he could read with ease - he was not dyslexic.The Associations, if they could, will want you to believe that those with eye problems are dyslexic.

One of my Face Book friend’s writes on Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). Obviously there are people with auditory problems. However, APD should not come under the umbrella of dyslexia. If you have this problem (APD) then you should talk with my friend Graeme Wadlow not with someone who teaches dyslexic children. None of my dyslexic students had/have APD.

If all the above ailments and more are classified as dyslexia then a parent has to bring his child to the optician to get his eyes checked for which he will have to pay a hefty price (just for the tests). He may be cajoled into buying coloured glasses and after sometime still find his child is unable to read. He may be recommended to buy some drugs. None of my dyslexic students were on drugs. Are drugs right for your child? But, you see, the Associations can sell drugs to parents with dyslexic children if ADD and ADHD are included under dyslexia. All these are unnecessary waste of money and are spent simply because some big boys have decided to define dyslexia according to their whim and fancy to benefit monetarily.

My friend Dr.Selznick  has put it very nicely in an article in his Shut Down Learner column.


child psychology said...

Its very important to recognize whether a child is dyslexic or not..i am very much impressed by this post.I am really admired for this information in this blog and the nice approach is visible in this blog.

Luqman Michel said...

Thank you very much for your comment.Wish you well.