Key Information about Learning Difficulties
This page collates all of the information on dyslexia and dyscalculia that we have gathered over the years and which we feel to be of relevance to users of our software. We hope you find this information useful and that it provides some assistance on your learning difference journey.
The Ideal Classroom
The ideal classroom is a place where students who face unique challenges in their learning process are not segregated, but welcomed among their peers and given the same level of education.
Inclusion uses methods that ensure all learners can access mainstream education. Everyone works to make all learners feel welcome and valued and that they get the right support to help them develop their talents and achieve their goals. When education is truly inclusive it benefits all learners.
This dream often ends up clashing with reality: insufficient staff or budget can often make it impossible for a school to give all students the attention they require.
The use of Dybuster learning systems can ease the strain on the teaching staff and parents by increasing the level of independence of diverse students, bringing the classroom one step closer to being truly inclusive.
Always Adapting To Changing Needs
When we think of an inclusive classroom, the first category that comes to mind is students with learning differences, however, this is only a part of what makes an environment inclusive.
A student who has trouble reading and writing might be dyslexic, but might also be struggling because the material is in their second language, because they have poor eyesight, or because an extremely low-income family situation has affected their education and they are reading far below their grade level. Dybuster software uses multi-sensory interactive strategies to support every user on their learning journey.
When letters don't make sense
At least one in ten children experience difficulty with reading or spelling, a condition also known as “dyslexia”. This manifests itself in a variety of characteristics and ways. Dyslexia is caused mainly by irregularities in the development of the brain. If particular channels, links and/or areas are under-exercised and not sufficiently mature, properly assimilation and processing of letters and words becomes difficult or even impossible, and the breakdown of words into their component sounds is often prone to error. What’s important to note is that this difficulty with reading and spelling has nothing to do with intelligence – quite the opposite. In fact, a number of celebrated scientists throughout history (including Albert Einstein) suffered from dyslexia. The occurrence of dyslexia cannot be attributed to a single cause; as with many other learning difficulties, the causes are diverse and vary from person to person. Multiple factors can promote the development of dyslexia and must also be taken into account in its treatment.
Dyslexia is often passed down genetically within a family, where parents, relatives, and siblings all suffer similar difficulties. This genetic influence has been scientifically proven.
Neurological perception disorders
The function of language processing centers in the brain is impaired. Children with dyslexia have been found to exhibit deviating activation patterns in the frontal and temporal lobes in the left-hand side of the brain. This means that the areas of the brain required for language processing are insufficiently synchronized, while auditory and visual networks are rendered less efficient. Auditory and/or visual perception disorders can also co-occur and can worsen dyslexia by causing problems with gaze control.
Delays in language development
By the time they turn four, most late talkers have closed the gap between themselves and their peers. For those that don’t, dyslexia should be considered as a possible cause of the developmental delay.
Signs of Dyslexia
When children are first learning how to read and write, they make the same mistakes at varying degrees of frequency. For most children, the mistakes decrease in frequency after a short time and are eventually eliminated altogether. Children with dyslexia, on the other hand, make a significantly greater number of errors than their peers, and the problems persist over a long period of time. What is particularly characteristic of dyslexia is the enormous inconsistency of these errors: it is often difficult to establish regular error patterns, and the errors occur without a common factor or theme.
The following signs can indicate the presence of dyslexia:
- …has anxiety about going to school
- …has anxiety about taking tests
- …has a negative perception of their own intelligence
- …is withdrawn
- …expects to fail
- …displays frustration and a reluctance to try in other subjects
- …lacks self-confidence
- …experiences psychosomatic symptoms (stomach ache in the morning)
- …displays aggressive or depressed behavior
- …requires a disproportionate amount of time
- …quickly becomes tired
- …is disorganized at home and school
- …needs a lot of support
- …wants a parent or other adult to be present
- …frequently seeks reassurance that their answers are correct
- …often forgets what is to be done as homework
- …often gets confused about verbal instructions
- …has the feeling that they are not getting better, even after lots of practice
- …reacts sensitively when trying to work, with frequent arguments or tears
Typical spelling and writing mistakes
- …finds it difficult to tell similar-looking letters apart
- …finds it difficult to map letters to sounds (phoneme errors)
- …finds it difficult to break letters down into component sounds
- …leaves out letters or parts of words
- …adds extra letters or parts of words
- …mixes up the order of the letters within a word
- …distorts the appearance of letters (e.g. writes them as mirror images)
- …makes frequent errors with upper and lower case
- …has difficulty remembering and applying spelling rules
- …writes the same word in different ways within the same text, yet is not able to recognize that the word is written differently each time or which version is correct
- …makes a noticeably large number of grammatical errors
- …has difficulty using punctuation(«»/ ,/./?/!)
- …often has illegible handwriting, unable to maintain consistent letter sizing throughout an entire text
Typical reading mistakes
- …has difficulty breaking words down into syllables orally
- …exhibits poor rhyming skills
- …has difficulty recognizing beginning, middle, and end sounds
- …mispronounces words or parts of words
- …leaves out particular letters or parts of words
- …adds particular letters or parts of words
- …reads very slowly and deliberately, often taking long pauses between words
- …skips over punctuation, not leaving a pause for breath
- …spontaneously replaces letters, syllables, and words with other letters, syllables, and words
- …finds it difficult to begin reading out loud; lots of hesitation
- …often loses their place in the text
- …swaps words around within a sentence
- …swaps letters around within a word
- …has difficulties pronouncing double vowel sounds (diphthongs)
Typical difficulties with comprehension
- …often finds it difficult to follow written instructions
- …finds it difficult to formulate statements about reading material in their own words
- …has difficulties drawing conclusions from reading material or identifying correlations
- …struggles with questions on the content of texts; often needs to use their general knowledge to answer questions instead of formulating answers from the information they have read.