Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I’m Dyslexic!

I’m Dyslexic!

I see things from a different perspective”, “When I am reading, occasionally a passage will get all jumbled up, but when it happens I have to read and re-read the passage”, “I know what I want to say, but I can never find the right words”, “I know what I want to say, but I can never find the right words1.These are the common statements to describe the feelings of dyslexic children.

Dyslexia is an alternative term used to refer to a pattern of learning difficulties. It is one of a family of Specific Learning Difficulty that makes children struggle in academic performance, especially problems with accurate or fluent word recognition, poor decoding, and poor spelling abilities2. Dyslexia is not a disease, but it is just a barrier in learning that affects individuals3. In Malaysia, it is estimated that about 45,000 children between the age of five and six who are dyslexic, and every five children out of 100 are likely to be dyslexic4.

Dyslexia often co-occurs with related conditions, such as mathematics impairment (dyscalculia) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), etc2. Moreover, children with dyslexia may also show weaknesses in areas such as language development, verbal memory, speed of processing, time perception, organisation, and sequencing5. It is a lifelong, usually genetic, inherited condition and affects around 5% to 15% among school-age children across different languages and cultures2. Children with dyslexia are always being labelled as lazy or not very bright due to their chronic academic failure.

Nevertheless, having dyslexia does not mean that their ability to learn is below average6. Indeed, many people with dyslexia are brilliant and motivated to learn despite a weakness in literacy skills. They are described to take different mental route or atypical way of thinking7, sometimes gifted or productive, to learn and tackle the given task. On the positive side, some dyslexic children have strong visual, curious, creative, and problem solving skills8 and are prominent among entrepreneurs, inventors, architects, engineers and in the arts and entertainment world. Many famous and successful people are dyslexic, such as Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Leonardo Da Vinci, Richard Branson, Tom Cruise, Lee Kwan Yew, Whoopi Goldberg and so forth. 

The difficulties of dyslexic experience could be reduced by receiving appropriate intervention and support9. Ding Child Psychology Centre (DCPC) has developed Dyslexia and Remedial English programmes to help children with dyslexia.  If you are dyslexic, or think you might be dyslexic, or if you are concerned about others who suspected to have dyslexic, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to give help.

1British Dyslexia Association. How it feels to be dyslexic. Retrieved from it feels to be Dyslexic

2American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

3Muhammad W.,  Ruzanna, W.M., Vijayaletchumy, S., Aziz, A., Yasran, A., Rahim, A., & Normaliza. (2011). Dyslexia in the aspect of Malay Language Spelling. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 1(21), 266-268.      
4Ministry of Malaysian Education (MOE). (2013). Retrieved from

5Snowling, M. J. & Hulme, C. (2012). Annual research review: The nature and classification of reading disorders – a commentary on proposals for DSM-5. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53(5), 593–607.

6Snowling, M. J. (2000). Dyslexia (2nd ed.). Oxford, England: Blackwell.

7Siegel, L.S. (2006). Perspectives on dyslexia.  Peadiatrics Child Health, 11(9), 581-587.

8Chakravarty, A. (2009). Taare Zameen Par and dyslexic savants. Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, 12(2), 99-103.

9Oga, C. & Haron, F. (2012). Life experiences of individuals living with dyslexia in Malaysia: a phenomenological study. Social and Behavioural Sciences, 46, 1129-1133.

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