Frequently Asked Questions
Can dyslexia be cured?
Each dyslexic person’s difficulties are different and vary from slight to very severe disruption of the learning process. There is no ‘cure’, but the difficulties can become much less with specific help, even though they may not totally disappear.
What is Glue Ear?
‘Glue ear’ is a condition in which catarrhal mucus gets trapped in the middle ear, causing moderate deafness and some distortion of sounds. The child is not able to hear spoken speech clearly enough to distinguish the separate sounds which make up words.
‘Glue ear’ does not cause dyslexia. However, when a child has a history of hearing difficulties, a check should be made.
Book: ‘Glue Ear’ by Lindsay Peer – MDA loan at Onchan Library
How can a parent help their dyslexic child?
The most important thing is to be aware of the problems and give loving support and understanding. Build up confidence and self-esteem in the child.
Make it clear that the child’s difficulties are not his/her fault. Be encouraging and find things he/she is good at.
Give plenty of praise – remember how hard dyslexic children have to try to achieve success.
Can using a computer help?
Computers play a very useful part in the teaching of dyslexic children but their contribution should not be over-estimated. They will not take the place of a good teacher.
The computer does provide an alternative way of reinforcing taught material. It is unemotional and uncritical, taking the strain out of writing and allowing mistakes to be more easily corrected.
The child’s work can be more easily read than if he/she had handwritten it.
Are career prospects limited?
Each dyslexic person has his/her own pattern of strengths and weaknesses. What they need is to be identified and taught, to enable them to release their potential in wide-ranging careers.
Many enjoy lateral thinking abilities and shine in fields such as the arts, creativity, design and computing.
Is it essential for all teachers to understand dyslexia?
Yes, all teachers should understand the dyslexic child’s needs both inside and outside the classroom.
Each subject teacher should understand that a dyslexic child’s oral responses are a better indication of ability than his/her written work.
Close co-operation is necessary between the teachers and the parents.
What is long term memory?
This is the ability to remember information over a lengthy period, eg faces, names, songs. A good long term memory for word patterns assists the speed of reading and spelling through spontaneous recall.
What is short term memory?
It is weakness of short term memory which appears to be of most relevance in dyslexia.
Short term memory concerns the ability to hold in mind pieces of information for the period of time needed to process them accurately by the brain.
It is vital to the reading process since this involves the ability to hold in mind the visual and auditory patterns of letters and syllables constituting a word long enough to blend them in the correct order.
Similarly, in order to make sense of a sentence, the reader needs to be able to hold in memory all its constituent words.