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Let’s talk learning difficulties. Dyslexia.

Togo - CHRONIQUE - Autres
iciLome | | Commenter

In my first article (The ignored geniuses of Africa), I explained what a learning difficulty is and stated that there are many types of learning difficulties. Furthermore, I provided the list of some of them and their definition. As promised the focus will be now on the most common learning difficulty, dyslexia.

What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is not a disease; it is a condition associated with the difficulties in the acquisition of literacy skills. It also affects other areas like memory, motor skills, sequencing and spatial awareness skills.

Dyslexia does not affect people’s intelligence. In general, dyslexic people are intelligent or highly intelligent.

Dyslexic people strengths
The strengths of dyslexic people are: innovation, problem solving skills, good interpersonal skills, creativity, intuition, determination, lateral thinking, simultaneous multiple thoughts processing...

Negative aspects
Dyslexic people often have difficulties with reading, writing, spelling, memory, spatial awareness, mathematics, sequencing, organisation and concentration.

Statistics of dyslexic people
According to the British Dyslexia Association, 10% of the population is dyslexic. Hence, based on the estimate of the world’s population of 7 billion in 2012 (World Bank Data and UN), there are about 700 million dyslexic people worldwide from which the number of dyslexic individuals in the countries listed in the following table is shown

Table 1 – statistics of dyslexic people

Dyslexia and success
Dyslexia is not an obstacle to success. With the right support, dyslexic people can achieve in their studies and careers.

In western countries, many celebrities and famous people are dyslexic. Below is the list of some of them.

• Albert Einstein – German mathematician
• Gustave Flaubert – French author
• Pablo Picasso – Spanish painter, sculptor
• Leonardo da Vinci – Italian scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer
• Walt Disney – American co-fondator - Walt Disney
• Tom Cruise – Amercian actor
• Orlando Bloom – British actor
• Patrick Dempsey – Amercian actor
• Oliver Reed - British actor
• John Lennon – British musician (The Beatles)
• Keira Knightley – British actress
• Cher – Amercian actress, singer
• Whoopi Goldberg – Amercian actress, singer, comedian
• Steven Spielberg – Amercian films producer
• Danny Glover – Amercian actor, director
• Mohammad Ali – Amercian professional boxer
• Magic Johnson – Amercian professional basketball player.
• George Washington – Amercian President. USA
• Thomas Jefferson – Amercian President.
• John F. Kennedy – Amercian President.
• Winston Churchill – British PM
• Will Smith – American musician, actor

Signs of dyslexia
To label a person as a dyslexic requires a thorough and elaborated evaluation performed by a dyslexia specialist. So, having some reading, writing and spelling problems does not necessary mean that a person has dyslexia. However, this will call for additional investigations with regard to the dyslexia types of signs displayed.

The signs in question are mentioned below in different areas. So, you or your child might be dyslexic if you experience the problems below:

Forget appointments
Problem remembering what was just said
Get confused with long verbal instructions
Difficulty with memorisation

Maths / Sequencing
Mental calculations difficulty
Problem working with money/change
Difficulty telling the time
Problem with times tables/formulae
Problem with Maths terms / concepts

Dislike reading
Often re-read passages
Misread words or insert words
Lose track or eyes become tired
Words become blurry, funny

Persistent spelling mistakes
Inconsistent spelling mistakes
Difficulty in putting ideas down on paper
Problem with grammar / punctuation
Difficulty in composing essays

Spatial awareness
Confuse left and right
Confuse up and down
Find it difficult to read maps
Get lost easily

Organisation /Concentration
Problem with organising work and other aspect of own life
Concentration difficulties
Easily distracted

Delali Idrissou, Dyslexia Specialist
MA Inclusive Education, MA FE Practitioner
Postg SpLD Dyslexia - AMBDA
Dip. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Dip. Adult Numeracy
Member of PATOSS
Member of Institute for Learning (MIfL) - QTLS
[email protected]

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