Dyslexia DehneAnstee and Nick Simmons
What is Dyslexia • Dyslexia literally means 'trouble with words'. It is the term used to describe difficulties with spelling, writing and reading. (Dyslexia Australia, 2002) Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. (The International Dyslexia Association, 2008)
Characteristics of DYSLEXIA • People with dyslexia display some of the following signs: • Confused by letters, numbers, words, sequences, or verbal explanations. • Reading or writing shows repetitions, additions, transpositions, omissions, substitutions, and reversals in letters, numbers and/or words. • Complains of feeling or seeing non-existent movement while reading, writing, or copying. • Seems to have difficulty with vision, yet eye exams don't reveal a problem. • Trouble learning “Sight Words” (Reads and rereads with little comprehension. • Spells phonetically and inconsistently. • (Dyslexia Australia, 2002)
DYSLEXIA on a Continuum • Dyslexia occurs on a continuum from mild to severe and no two are alike. There is no cure for dyslexia since it is a brain based difference, however with appropriate instruction aimed towards their learning needs, most can overcome their literacy difficulties and lead productive lives. • (Australian Dyslexia Association Inc, 2007)
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Abilities • Dyslexics tend to develop very strong imaginations or visual thinking. Dyslexics use a picture or feeling based reasoning process to solve problems rather than a verbal one. If they are at first confused (or intrigued), they will visualise or imagine an object and move around it and look at it from different viewpoints or angles. From this thought process, they develop many unique abilities and talents in areas such as: • spatial awareness, reading people, strategic planning, music /dancing, Engineering manual skills, artistic ability, Building, piloting vehicles, Designing, arts-drama/roleplay, inventing & story telling (Dyslexia Australia, 2002)
Famous People with Dyslexia John Lennon Tom Cruise • Muhammad Ali
Dyslexia and physical Education • Strengths of dyslexic pupils in PE may include: • • Multi-sensory learning styles that are particularly suited to sporting activities; • • Multi-dimensional thinking and perception • • An acute awareness of the environment • • Originality and creativity in their approach to problem solving • • Determination to succeed • • Endurance and ability to practice the same skill over and over again, even if • there is little apparent progress • Many dyslexics excel at individual sports such as athletics, fencing or swimming, and others may succeed in small teams where there is little risk of collision with others. (Dyslexia Scotland, 2007)
Dyslexia and physical education • Some dyslexic pupils may experience motor co-ordination difficulties in some PE activities, especially ball games and team sports. • Research has found that many dyslexics have postural instability, poor balance and deficits in muscle tone. • Some pupils with dyslexia may be unable to judge speed and distance and may lack depth perception, so they will have great difficulty taking part in fast moving team games.
References • Australian Dyslexia Association Inc. (2007). Australian Dyslexia Association Inc - Solutions for Those that Learn Differently . Retrieved August 11, 2011, from Australian Dyslexia Association Inc: http://dyslexiaassociation.org.au/index.php?page=how-is-dyslexia-evaluated • Dyslexia Scotland. (2007). Dyslexia and Physical Education. Wellgreen, Stirling, Scotland,. • The International Dyslexia Association. (2008, March). Fact Sheets. Retrieved Augus 11, 2011, from The International Dyslexia Association.