Saturday, 16 November 2013

In the year 1990 I attended a workshop on dyslexia for the first time.
 This was hosted by the Alpha to Omega learning centre and conducted by Hazel Mckay from the Hornsby centre London. It was based on the Alpha to Omega phonic approach to teaching reading to children with dyslexia.
This was my first exposure to the theoretical aspects of dyslexia.
The definition of dyslexia as a reading difficulty, the co morbid conditions, etc. became clearer to me.
 I learnt about different kinds of reading errors, and the consequences of these reading difficulties.
The root cause of the reading difficulty is the inability in making the connection between a letter and its corresponding sound. It is not specific to any one particular language but affects the reading fluency and accuracy in all languages.
So, remediation begins with reading, specifically with teaching letter sound association.
I remember learning to do the FLASH CARD DRILL.
It was a novel experience.
It was very important to master the sounds correctly, since all the spelling rules that were to follow were based on these letter sounds.
We were a motivated group and I learnt a lot from my batch mates as well.
The most important learning for me was:
Dyslexia is a genuine disability that can cause severe problems in academic achievement
Remediation should be customised to suit the individual, since each child will have his own unique set of problems.
The teacher should have complete faith in the child's ability to learn and be always willing to adapt her teaching techniques to the student's needs.

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