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sorted thru various sources by: Zarenna Apit for Special Education Unit Melaka Education Department.

Dyslexia (say: dis-lek-see-uh) is when someone has a difficult time in primarily reading and they also have a difficult time in processing words. The base of the word is lexia meaning reading and dys meaning difficult or hard. So what's going on inside the person's brain? Well, it doesn't mean the person is dumb. In fact, some very smart people like Albert Einstein have had dyslexia as well as Bill Gates. A kid who has dyslexia might start out doing fine in school. But gradually, it can become a struggle, especially when reading becomes an important part of schoolwork. A teacher might say that the kid is smart, but doesn't seem to be able to get the hang of reading. These include having trouble pronouncing and remembering words, avoiding reading, unwillingness to read out loud, not getting the meaning of reading, and guessing at unknown words.

Dyslexic children seem to have trouble learning early reading skills, problems hearing individual sounds in words, analyzing whole words in parts, and blending sounds into words. Letters such as "d" and "b" may be confused. Often a child with dyslexia has a problem translating language into thought (such as in listening or reading), or translating thought into language (such as in writing or speaking). Dyslexia is also referred to as developmental reading disorder. Dyslexia is a problem involving higher processing of symbols in the brain. Most children with dyslexia are of normal intelligence; many have above-average intelligence. However, when a child is dyslexic, there is often an unexpected difference between achievement and aptitude. Each child with dyslexia has different strengths and weaknesses, although many have unusual talents in art, athletics, architecture, graphics, drama, music, or engineering. These special talents are often in areas that require the ability to integrate sight, spatial skills, and coordination. Common characteristics of a child with dyslexia include problems with:

identifying single words understanding sounds in words, sound order, or rhymes spelling transposing letters in words handwriting reading comprehension the spoken language

understanding directions understanding opposites, such as up/down or early/late

Social and emotional difficulties often accompany this disorder, as children are unable to meet expectations of parents and teachers and feel frustrated at their inability to achieve their goals. They may have a negative self-image and become angry, anxious and depressed.

Symptoms and Treatments

Training can help children with this phoneme problem. The training consists of practicing word structure to decrease mis-pronunciation. One technique is breaking down a word into its phonemes, for example, "cat" is pronounced kuh-ahh-tuh. Children with dyslexia show a variety of symptoms and there are many strategies educators and parents can use to help their children compensate. Signs of dyslexia include difficulty in pronouncing words (especially longer ones), difficulty learning letter names and sounds, difficulty learning how to read/write his/her own name, not being able to identify syllables, and not being able to read or spell words in the correct order (such as top and pot). Most kids begin learning to read by learning how each letter of the alphabet looks and sounds. Next, they start figuring out what the letters sound like when they're put together to form words. Reading is a little like riding a bike because you have to do a bunch of things at once. It's hard at first, but once you know how to do it, it feels easy and natural. Reading means their eyes and brain have to do all these steps: 1. focus on printed marks (letters and words) 2. control eye movements across the page 3. recognize the way letters sound 4. understand words and grammar (the way words are put together) 5. build images and ideas 6. compare new ideas to what is already known 7. store the ideas in memory Treatment includes seeking professional help such as tutors, teachers that specialize in dyslexia, pediatricians, and academic language therapists. Slowly repeating new, longer words helps dyslexic children learn. Arranging private read aloud time with the teacher avoids fear and embarrassment of trying to read aloud in front of peers. Dyslexic children also struggle with spelling. Educators can encourage the dyslexic child to proofread carefully, helping them train themselves to see errors in letters that they are switching around. Classroom teachers can structure systematic

procedures, rules, and patterns in the classroom so that when it comes to language, everyone can benefit from the learning environment.

Famous Dyslexia People

Agatha Christie - (15 September 1890 - 12 January 1976) Agatha Christie was the world's best selling book writer of all times only truly surpassed by the Bible and equaled by Shakespeare, her books sold approximately 4 billion copies worldwide. Agatha suffered from dyslexia but in no way did it stop her from being creative and learning how to write, her mystery novels have always been some of the most captivating of all times. Her bestselling book was without a doubt "And then there was none" which was a source of inspiration for novelists and movie makers even many years after. Albert Einstein - (March 14, 1879 - April 18, 1955) Being one of the most important great minds of his century Albert Einstein was then known to suffer from dyslexia mainly because of his bad memory and his constant failure to memorize the simplest of things. He would not remember the months in the year yet he would succeed in solving some of the most complicated mathematical formulas of the time without any trouble. He may have never learned how to properly tie his shoelaces but his scientific contributions and theories still have a major effect on all of today current knowledge of science. Alexander Graham Bell - (3 March 1847 - 2 August 1922) Well known as the inventor of the telephone Alexander was actually attempting to find a way that could make deaf people hear. His mother was slowly becoming deaf when Alexander was only 12 years old making him extremely sensitive to disabilities. Once older he was constantly seeking a way to cure them through technology. He himself had dyslexia which would cause him problems at school, but he always kept his interest for science, especially biology. He would show a great indifference for everything else and would have poor grades. Today Alexander Graham Bell is also well know as one of the founders of the National Geographic society. Cher - (Born May 20, 1946) Cher was a fatherless child and was most of the time very poor. Her mother tried to make money by singing and acting which ultimately brought Cher to follow into her footsteps. Due to dyslexia Cher decided she would quit school and try to take some acting lessons in Los Angeles to finally do what she loved. One day while at the renowned Aldo's Coffee Shop her life changed upon meeting Sonny Bono, which was at the time successful in show business. Leonardo Da Vinci - Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, (April 15, 1452 - May 2, 1519) was a Tuscan polymath: scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer. As an engineer, Leonardo conceived ideas vastly ahead of his own time, conceptualizing a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, and the double hull, and outlining a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. He also had the gift of dyslexia. Most of the time, he wrote his notes backwards. Although unusual, this is a trait shared by many left-handed dyslexic people. Most of the time, dyslexic writers are not even consciously aware that they are writing this way. Magic Johnson - Earvin Effay Johnson, Jr. (born August 14, 1959 in Lansing, Michigan) is a retired American National Basketball Association (NBA) basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers. Johnson is acknowledged as one of the most popular NBA basketball players of all time, being well-known for his uncanny passing and dribbling skills, and for his cheerful nature on and off the court. In the words of Magic Johnson: "The looks, the stares, the giggles . . . I wanted to show everybody that I could do better and also that I could read." Thomas Edison - Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 - October 18, 1931) was an American inventor of Dutch origin and businessman who developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph and a long lasting light bulb. In school, the young Edison's mind often wandered. He was noted to be terrible at mathematics, unable to focus, and had difficulty with words and speech. This ended Edison's three months of official schooling. The cause of Edison's deafness has been attributed to a bout of scarlet fever during childhood and recurring untreated middle ear infections. Thomas Edison

was dyslexic, a problem child, and a mischief-maker. He talked when he was supposed to be listening and did not listen when the teacher talked. He had no patience. He was not well-coordinated and did poorly in sports. He applied himself with a passion to whatever caught his attention, but his attention was easily diverted. Tom Cruise - Thomas Cruise Mapother IV (born July 3, 1962), more commonly known as Tom Cruise, is an American actor and film producer. Cruise has said that he suffered from abuse as a child. This was partially due to him suffering from dyslexia. He stated that when something went wrong, his father came down hard on him. Having gone through fifteen schools in twelve years, Cruise, who dropped his father's name at age twelve, was also a victim of bullying at school. Walt Disney - Walter Elias Disney (December 5, 1901 - December 15, 1966) was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Disney is notable as one of the most influential and innovative figures in the field of entertainment during the twentieth century. Walt Disney had dyslexia, which is a learning disorder characterized by reading difficulties. While Walt Disney was attending high school he also went to the Academy of Fine Arts. This caused him to have double the school work than an average student on top of the fact that he also dealt with being dyslexic. Whoopi Goldberg - Whoopi Goldberg (born November 13, 1955) is an American actress, comedian, radio host, TV personality, game show host, and author. Whoopi Goldberg was born Caryn Elaine Johnson in New York City. Whoopi had a lot of difficulty in school, but it was not until she was an adult did she learn that she had dyslexia. Despite her dyslexia, Whoopi Goldberg has gone on to have a highly successful film and television career. Winston Churchill - Churchill described himself as having a speech impediment which he consistently worked to overcome. After many years, he finally stated, "My impediment is no hindrance." Although the Stuttering Foundation of America has claimed that Churchill stammered, the Churchill Centre has concluded that he lisped. Churchill's impediment may also have been cluttering, which would fit more with his lack of attention to unimportant details and his very secure ego. According to several sources Winston Churchill was not dyslexic and had no learning disability whatsoever. In his autobiography he played up his low grades at Harrow, undoubtedly to convince readers, and possibly himself, how much he had overcome; but in this he exaggerated. He was actually quite good at subjects he enjoyed and in fact won several school prizes.

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