• Dr. V.S. Gayathri

Is Dyslexia Hereditary?

Updated: Jul 1

Nearly 15% of all students enrolled in Indian schools that is around 35 million children are diagnosed as dyslexic as per the Dyslexia Association of India.

Most parents for the children I screen as a counsellor and educator didn't know that their child has dyslexia until it is diagnosed.

At times, in the parents' interview, one or both parents start expressing how they had felt when they were not able to read or comprehend as quickly as their friends in class and how they had masked these emotions all along.

Sometimes parents start to empathize more with their sibling, a school drop-out when their whole family is full of graduates.

There is a 49% likelihood of getting dyslexia if a parent has it. However, the environment (specialized instructions) determines how severely the child will experience dyslexia.

Delhi High Court mandates all government, private and public schools should be equipped to handle children with various disabilities, including learning disabilities. It has been seen that there still a lack of awareness among teachers and parents, and also a supportive environment to enable dyslexic children to achieve their full potential.

Dyslexia affects around 2 to18% of primary school pupils in India. Dyslexia Awareness Week is considered each year from October 5 to October 11 to raise awareness about the learning disorder.

Posters are in regional languages for parents and grandparents to understand easily. Please feel free to share them. **Check at the end of the article.

Here are some helpful tips for both teachers and parents.

What can teachers do to help dyslexic children?

  • Multisensory experiences can be incorporated for the materials they are reading like activity and colouring pages.

  • Choose materials with a lot of repetition of words and phrases.

  • Use games for sound matching.

  • Emphasize on drawing with different shapes and letter writing as much as possible

  • Help the child while drawing or writing by holding his/her hand. Gradually, reduce the degree of help.

  • Provide extra time to complete the tests.

  • Talk about writing and spelling in different forms like writing in a diary or sending an email.

  • Don’t make them feel left out in the classroom. Engage them and interact with them.

What can parents do to help dyslexic children?

  • Make things easy for them by using songs, poetry, and even dance.

  • Play word games often.

  • Use nursery rhymes and funny rhyming games for a younger child.

  • Urge them to read along while listening to audio books.

  • Make reading a habit for them, both quietly and loudly, at least once a day.

  • Motivate them to repeat any books or novel that they have already read. This helps in learning.

  • Celebrate their accomplishments. Spend and enjoy time together doing things that are fun.

  • Let them participate in activities that they like to balance the pressures of study.

  • Praise your child's abilities and strengths. Don’t nag them or talk only about their learning difficulties.

  • Help them comprehend the definition of dyslexia. They should be educated on the fact that it isn't their fault. Assure them that both of you will work together to resolve the situation.

MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, THE CHILDREN NEED US TO UNDERSTAND THEM.

So, deal with them with patience and empathy. With your help, they can gradually overcome or try to overcome the challenges. And most importantly, they will know that they are being heard and understood.

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