Counts dyslexia as a disability

What to do with dyslexia

First of all: dyslexia is neither a disease nor a disability, and dyslexic children are neither lazy nor stupid. Dyslexia is one of the so-called circumscribed developmental disorders of school skills and is defined as a significant impairment in learning to read, write and calculate (dyscalculia). Dr. Astrid Kopp-Duller, dyslexia trainer, explains the term: “A dyslexic person perceives his environment differently with high or average intelligence, his attention decreases when he encounters symbols such as letters or numbers, as he does so due to his differentiated partial performance feels differently than non-dyslexic people. This makes it difficult to learn to read, write or do arithmetic. ”It may happen that the disorder relates only to spelling, but reading is not difficult. As an adult, reading skills tend to improve, and the spelling deficit often persists.

Recognizing dyslexia

To determine whether a child actually has dyslexia, two criteria must be met: The performance in reading and writing is lower than that of their peers and it is significantly weaker than the IQ would lead one to expect. A test that examines sensory perception and the ability to pay attention can be used to find out very precisely whether dyslexia is present. This is generally considered to be useful in the second grade of elementary school. Poor school education, a mental or neurological illness or a sensory impairment (e.g. hearing loss or visual impairment) must be ruled out beforehand as a reason for the difficulties. In this case one would speak of a reading and writing disorder (LRS).

If you follow the explanations of the First Austrian Umbrella Association for Dyslexia, the most common mistakes made by dyslexics are perceptual errors such as omissions (same), additions (same), order (geilch), interchanging visually or acoustically distinguishable letters (dald, kleich), stretch and sharpening errors (schwihmen, küsen) as well as memory and memory errors (common words are misspelled, the same words in the text are spelled differently (vür, wier, fon).

For a long time it was assumed that these difficulties can be explained by poor education and laziness, but today research has produced sufficient evidence that the reading-spelling disorder is mainly genetic. Factors such as early detection or promotion are essential for treatment. Because constant, agonizing practice only increases frustration, but in very few cases increases performance. In addition, it is very stressful for the whole family and of course especially for the child.

Rapid sense of achievement with targeted support

If therapy and support are started quickly, the child can develop positively. It is even possible that in a genetically predisposed child, early support can prevent the disorder from breaking out at all. With a lot of understanding, empathy, individual therapy and good cooperation between teachers, parents and dyslexia trainers, rapid successes are possible. These are important for the child's motivation. In order to keep the additional psychological stress within limits, family support is also extremely important. The dyslexic child needs a lot of recognition from their parents, they have to feel loved despite poor academic performance.

There are now many targeted exercises that aim to increase attention, but also to improve sensory perception. A pictorial handling of letters is advantageous, but the use of computers also achieves very good results. And: Dyslexics often develop an extraordinarily strong personality and are characterized by their great ability to solve problems.