Dyslexia, a specific reading disability, affects a significant portion of the world’s population. Indeed, it is estimated to have affected about four to fifteen percent of the population (Skottun & Skoyles, 2006). This group of people who suffer because of congenital reasons and the people who love them who likewise suffer are the reasons why dyslexia is not difficult to be an object of concern, or at least curiosity. The nature of this disorder alone raises concern all over the professional community.
It is defined as a “condition in which an individual reads more poorly than would be expected, based on the person’s age, level of education and intelligence (Skottun ; Skoyles, 2006; Mortimore, 2005). ” Stated another way, it is a “disorder manifested by difficulty learning to read, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence and sociocultural opportunity. It is dependent upon fundamental cognitive disabilities which are frequently of constitutional origin (Gustafson & Samuelsson, 1999).
This nature of dyslexia is quite disturbing, for it makes the parents of dyslexic children so helpless. It is difficult to imagine the feeling of first realizing that the child one carried and expected for nine months would have a disability, the cause of which is yet unknown. Parents are not even given the opportunity to shift the blame on anyone, because the cause is unknown. They also couldn’t blame themselves because dyslexia may not have come from any negligence while the baby was in the womb.
Thus, parents would be at a loss as to the reason why their baby would have a disorder. It is also easy to imagine how difficult it might be for parents to deal with their child’s disorder. Again from the nature and definition of the disorder, the child does not seem to have any fighting chance against dyslexia, since conventional means of instruction and exposure to sociocultural factors would not be effective to a dyslexic child (Skottun & Skoyles, 2006; Mortimore, 2005).
Thus, dealing with dyslexia gets even more difficult in the absence of clear-cut methods established precisely for these kinds of children. For both the dyslexic children and their parents, the adjustment could cause much difficulty, since the prevailing measure for determining and diagnosing dyslexia remains the discrepancy criterion (Gustafson & Samuelsson, 1999). This criterion requires that a dyslexic child be compared vis-a-vis a normal child to know whether the former has a reading disorder (Gustafson & Samuelsson, 1999).
The constant need for comparison and measurement of a child’s ability would probably take a toll on his self-esteem, which could cause depression and loneliness to the child’s parents. Juxtaposing these negative possibilities with the unique situation of children with dyslexia and their parents and the absence of clear theories and interventions for dyslexics, perhaps the best way of dealing with the situation is through understanding, cooperation, and support.
Both the dyslexic children and their parents are experiencing difficult and trying times coping with the disorder; hence, only positive thoughts and actions could do them good. These thoughts reflect my position and attitude should I encounter a person who has dyslexia in my class. I promise to myself that I would be understanding and supportive, so that I may not add to the difficulties he is already facing. Moreover, I shall give whatever assistance I could, in order to help him cope with the requirements in class.