Being dyslexic simply means that you learn in a different way. The word ‘dyslexia’ comes from the Greek and literally means ‘difficulty with words’, although dyslexic people may have specific challenges in other areas of learning.
Dyslexia is neurological in nature; brain imaging techniques show that dyslexic people process information differently. Generally more boys than girls are diagnosed dyslexic and genetic research suggests that dyslexia is more easily passed down the male line.
Experts differ on the extent of dyslexia in the population, but the consensus is that between 10% and 15% of people are dyslexic. Dyslexia occurs in people from all backgrounds and of all abilities. Depending on where an individual’s main source of ‘dyslexic confusion’ lies, the difficulties may show up as problems with reading, writing, hearing, speech, maths, or clumsiness, which in turn may affect attention or behaviour.
The effects of dyslexia can largely be overcome by skilled specialist teaching and by the use of compensatory strategies. The key is early diagnosis – the sooner dyslexic children start to develop the extra learning skills required, the better. These skills are exactly what Moon Hall Schools provide.
Each dyslexic person has his or her own pattern of strengths and weaknesses. Many enjoy lateral thinking abilities and shine in such fields as the arts, creativity and computing. What they need is an educational environment that enables them to regain their inner confidence and self-esteem to realise their talents and to achieve success not just in exams but more importantly in their future wide-ranging careers.
The best measure of dyslexia is the difference in an individual’s performance based on ‘normal’ expectations for somebody of that intelligence level, and the way they actually perform. Each dyslexic person’s difficulties are different, and vary from slight to very severe disruption of the learning process.
Many suffer from lack of self-esteem and confidence. They are frustrated because they are normally bright, quick and gifted individuals who cannot seem to work at the same pace as their other classmates. Many have also been bullied as a result. This is why we work with children who come to Moon Hall to help them to re-discover their sense of self-worth and why we think it so important that our support is not limited only to the time they spend in english and maths lessons.
Parents of a dyslexic child often worry about problems they may face in the future throughout their adult lives, but there is really no need once they have re-gained their self-confidence and mastered the necessary learning skills. Certainly dyslexia is no barrier to success. Many successful people from all walks of life – from the arts and music through business to academia – are dyslexic. Dyslexic people are often visual and multi-dimensional thinkers, intuitive, highly creative and excel at hands-on learning.
Many dyslexics would claim in later life that their dyslexia and all that comes with it is a gift not a disability.