Dyslexia and associated difficulties
Dyslexia is a learning difference. It relates to the way information is processed when you learn or remember something. It is often linked with other neurodiversities like Dyspraxia and Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (AD[H]D). Every child assessed as having a neurodiversity is unique. However, dyslexia, dyspraxia and AD(H)D can affect an individual’s reading, writing, memory, concentration, maths, time management and organisation and will impact on theirlearning ability.
Neurodiversity and dyslexia is not related to intelligence, many individuals are gifted in certain areas, some of which are:
- Innovative thinkers
- Lateral thinkers
- Excellent trouble shooters
- Good at problem solving
- Creative in many different ways
- Good communication skills
- An ability to work well visually and in 3D
Dyslexia is sometimes associated with dyscalculia (difficulties with maths) and dyspraxia (motor co-ordination problems)
Dyspraxia is a type of developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD), is a disability that affects movement and co-ordination. Although the exact causes of dyspraxia is unknown, it is thought to be caused by a disruption in the way messages from the brain are transmitted to the body. Dyspraxia is characterised by difficulty in planning smooth, coordinated movements. This leads to clumsiness and lack of co-ordination. Often, it can lead to problems with language, perception and thought.
Common Dyspraxia Tendencies;
- General clumsiness
- Difficulty writing may find writing painful
- Reading difficulties
- Speech problems
- Poor short term memory
- Awkward walking and running
- Trouble using a knife and fork
- Sensitive to touch, texture of certain food and sounds
- Poor concentration
- Poor organisational skills
- Difficulty with learning new tasks
- Problems reading and understanding body language and diffulties with general social skills
Many have difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers, and have problems learning number facts and procedures. Even if they produce a correct answer or use a correct method, they may do so mechanically and without confidence. Dyscalculia is like dyslexia for numbers. But unlike dyslexia, very little is known about its prevalence, causes or treatment. Current thinking suggests that it is a congenital condition, caused by the abnormal functioning of a specific area of the brain. People with dyscalculia experience great difficulty with the most basic aspects of numbers and arithmetic.
Common Dyscalculia Tendencies;
- Counting: usually learn the sequence of counting words, but may have difficulty navigating back and forth, especially in twos and threes.
- Calculations: find learning and recalling number facts difficult. They often lack confidence even when they produce the correct answer. They also fail to use rules and procedures to build on known facts. For example, they may know that 5+3=8, but not realise that, therefore, 3+5=8 or that 5+4=9.
- Numbers with zeros: find it difficult to grasp that the words ten, hundred and thousand have the same relationship to each other as the numerals 10, 100 and 1000.
- Measures: difficulty with operations such as handling money or telling the time. They may also have problems with concepts such as speed (miles per hour) or temperature.
- Direction/orientation: difficulty understanding spatial orientation (including left and right) causing difficulties in following directions or with map reading.