This article is in response to the comment by Liz Ditz on my article dated 21.8.2010.
She had written, “I am not sure why you haven't received responses to your letters of inquiry”.
I am not sure either and I leave it to you, my readers, to see if you have any idea why I do not get a response to similar letters written to Dyslexia Associations, Research Universities and other Government institutions.
One of my readers from Scotland, Alan Gurbutt, made a comment on my article on 29.4.2010. You may read the full comment here: http://www.parentingdyslexia.com/2010_04_01_archive.html.
Subsequently, Allan, who has his own blog posted 3 of my articles in his blog with my permission. We corresponded with each other and exchanged many e-mails.
On 12.5.2010, upon the insistence of Alan, I wrote to Dyslexia Scotland. I had earlier told him that I am not interested in writing to them as they had not replied to my e-mail to them. I wrote only because he assured me that they will respond for sure.
The following is the E-mail I wrote to Dyslexia Scotland.
From: luqman michel
Subject: Dyslexia - A Different Perspective
Date: Wednesday, 12 May, 2010, 19:28
My name is Luqman Michel and I have been teaching dyslexic children for more than 5 years.
I would be grateful if you could please keep an open mind and read my entire e-mail.
Having taught dyslexic children 2 or 3 languages I have found that dyslexic children do not have a phonological awareness deficit as written all over the net.
All my dyslexic students can read Malay and romanised Mandarin fluently. (If they can read in a language fluently it simply means that they do not have a problem with "phonological awareness".) They however have a problem reading in the English language. This prompted me to ask myself "Why this anomaly?" And over the years I have found that it is simply because dyslexic children's minds shut off when they are taught anything illogical.
I started a blog to share my findings with parents of dyslexic children and it has been well-received by people from countries where they speak more than one language. However, people from countries like Australia, the UK, Canada, NZ and the US are reluctantly beginning to take a second look at my blog. I have a number of readers from the US who seem to see what I have to say as they speak Spanish as well.
English is orthographically inconsistent and this is one of the problems with dyslexic children learning to read in English. Example: They learn the words but, cut, gut and rut easily. But when I teach them the word put I could see the puzzled look on their face. Their mind just shuts down. (This is something I am trying to find out from psychologists - Is it possible for children to just shut off?)
Another reason is the fact that most teachers do not teach the various sounds (phonemes) of the letters. The letter 'A' for instance represents at least 5 sounds.
When I teach a dyslexic child the word 'cat' he learns it easily - bat, cat, fat, mat, rat, sat.
But when I teach "A cat", again I see a puzzled look. Because it does not make sense to him. This is simply because the A carries one sound whilst the 'a' in the word cat carries a different sound.
I then started to say the new sound of letters as we come to them and compare it with previously learned sounds.
I also tell them not to make sense of the English language like they do with Malay and romanised Mandarin. Once they realise and accept this fact they learn to read at a much faster rate.
Please read my blog from the first article onward and give me your comments.
The illiteracy rate can be greatly reduced if dyslexic children are taught in an appropriate manner.
I sincerely hope that you will read this with an open mind. Let us reduce illiteracy.........Believe me, it can be done.......
Thank you and kind regards,
Visit my blog at: http://www.dyslexiafriend.com
End of e-mail.
Now, Liz and other readers please write and let me know if I have said anything improper. Why do I not get a response from almost all of them? Perhaps Liz would be kind enough to write to these Associations and find out why I do not get a response.
I am leaving the interesting part to the next article. Till I see you in my next article...