Dyslexia and Your Child

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a disability that hampers a person's ability to learn, write and sometimes even speak. The word `dyslexia' derives from the Greek meaning `difficulty with words'. It is a common learning disability among children in Malaysia as there are approximately 500,000 children who suffer from it.

There are three main types of dyslexia - trauma dyslexia, primary dyslexia and developmental dyslexia. Trauma dyslexia develops when a trauma or injury occurs to the part of the brain that controls writing and reading while primary dyslexia occurs when the cerebral cortex or the left side of the brain does not mature as the child does. Developmental dyslexia occurs when there is hormonal development during fetal growth.

If your child is unable to read, write or spell as well as his peers, don't be quick to call him dumb or stupid. The problem may be much deeper. Children with dyslexia have often been called dumb or lazy even though they are actually children with above average intelligence. These children may be able to answer questions that a teacher poses to them correctly but when the same questions are asked in a written method, they may not be able to do as well.

Where to look for help

There are organisations and associations in Malaysia that can help your children cope with dyslexia. Among them are the Kiwanis Disability Information and SupportCentre (KDISC) and the Persatuan Dyslexia Wilayah Persekutuan.