Friday, February 19, 2010

Does Dyslexia really exist? Or is it a myth created by us?

Someone asked me this question today... when I posted a writeup about the Remedial School that I have set up in Bangalore.

I am not sure I can agree with your assessment on dyslexia - don't you think dyslexia is problem with parents/elders who think certainperson/kid has a learning disorder? Does the kid/person think they are dyslexic?

What do you intend to 'teach' them?

Apologies if am trying to point fingers at "already accepted" research in this field.

this was my answer
Its great that you ask this question.. becuase I myself stated asking this question 5 years ago when i quit my 10 year long career in IT for this cause. Thats when the world called my gifted child a Dyslexic. I reasearched for a whole year before I could accept that he was actually facing difficulties. Thats when I saw the gift of Dyslexia. These children who seem that they are not able to pick up even basic reading spelling and writing skills are excellent in something or the other. They are able to think in creative and abstract ways that can put even adults to shame. By this time I had quit my career totally and decided to work in the research department of a school to undertand the education system and pedagogy. A year later I was armed with so much information and a couple of diplomas too. But still my child couldnt read, write legibly and spell. He was 2 years beyond his other classmates in everything else!

This is when I started to learn about the Brain and the way the Brain is programmed and how its differnt for a child with Dyslexia. I met and networked with several specialists in India and abroad. The different wiring allows them to do things we cannot but then they cannot do what we can easily do.. the 3 R's!! Some of the reasons are they they are visual spatial, some others have difficulty with auditory perception and others with visual perception.

But working with several children with a mix of all these issues, ADD, ADHD etc. I have understood that these children learn and learn much faster when taught the way they learn My son learnt several times faster when we started homeschooling. And we hardly studied for 2 hours everyday. But I sure did devise several techniques and material to teach him the way he learns. And each and every chld I met had a gift.. If one could remember hundreds of geograpy facts on his finger tips, the other was a born musician, some were good at art, others at drama. My son is good at Science, starting making his own toys when he was as little as 3, then I met a boy just yesterday who can listen to a song just once and play it on the piano. Oh! They are such a joy to work with and believe it or not each one of them has been asked to leave school or are on the verge of being asked to. My son also had been thrown out from 2 schools until we found this really great place for him The Samahita Academy in Bangalore. Still many have repeated each grade twice thrice despite them being way ahead in the concept understanding.

The experience and the success and the celebration of being different is what I am taking out to everyone now. Several bright children who are dyslexic are being thrown out from school I see so many of them everyday. Homeschooling is the best approach that I would suggest but I realise that we on this group have been lucky to be able to do that but there are several others who cant make that call due to several issues like money, single parenting, not qualified enough etc..

Hence this is my way of helping those people find a place for their children where they are accepted , their gifts nurtured. Becuase I want to see the smile that I see on my sons face on every childs face. It really means a lot to me and their parents.

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