Dyslexia- An insight


When you would try to read the text written down, You can probably imagine a struggle going on in your mind reading this small text. Let's discuss about it.


We did an experiment -

We made a 14-year-old boy, read this two-liner. The boy who is at the peak of his reading practice, both academically and non academically, who generally completes the reading of 500 pages book in 5-6 hours. With this amazing reading speed, he was given this two-liner to read.

Time taken to read normal two-liner :7 seconds

Time taken to read the given two-liner :35 seconds


He took long 35 seconds to read only two small simple sentences. We can easily understand the struggle which a dyslexic child must be going through. The dyslexic child cannot read the way he is expected and thus taking much more time than his/her peers. The inner fight going on in the mind of the child, is very beautifully depicted in the movie "Taare Zameen Par". To go in-depth with this learning disorder-Dyslexia, we interviewed Ayurvedic expert Dr. Upasana Mishra. Let's extract her answer to all our questions.


Q-1 As a layman, we see dyslexia to be a reading or writing disorder, is it limited to that only or goes beyond that also?


Dr. Upasana Mishra- "Dyslexic kids may have a varied range of symptoms from mild to very severe but generally the following symptoms would be seen:

  • Reading and Spelling difficulty- The child may have confusion in numbers, letters, may exhibit transpose (b instead of d, p instead of q), letters may appear to be moving or jumping, might seem to have vision issues but eye test might be perfectly fine.

  • Writing difficulty- The child may exhibit issues in copying from the blackboard, may have illegible handwriting and may not wish to write, will be confused between right/left, above/under.

  • Hearing and speech issues- The child is easily disturbed and swayed away by noises and may assume things not told, may have an issue in putting his/her thoughts into words, may have issues in speaking a full sentence, and would pause a lot while speaking, can transpose words."

Q-2 What can be the probable causes for dyslexia?

Dr Upasana Mishra- "The exact cause of Dyslexia is not known but there can be a mix of factors responsible for this disorder like- genetics, biology, cognitive aspect, behavioral aspect, environment, temperament, and family factors also social factors.

  1. Boys are mostly affected more than girls and here genetic inheritance plays a big role.

  2. The way in which the brain is wired in the dyslexic children is very much unique and different. Also, the deficit has been noted in the specific pathway between the eye and the brain in dyslexic kiddos.

  3. Deficiency of omega- unsaturated fatty acid is also considered as one of the factors though much research isn’t found to support the same."

Q-3 Is it a rare disorder or is it quite common?

Dr Upasana Mishra: "Dyslexia is stated to be a disorder, not a disease when a child is not able to learn the skills of reading, writing, and spelling though they go through the same pattern of classroom teaching as any other kid. It is not because they have a lower level of intelligence. These kids require a different pattern of learning which will be easy for them to follow and will leave an impression in their minds forever.

In the whole world, 4% of people suffer from Dyslexia, which on proper intervention lives a healthy and balanced life. In school-going children, it is noted that 9.87% of children have this issue. It is also noted that about 40% of the dyslexic children and adolescents drop out of the school unless proper interventions are done. Symptoms are usually noted between 5-6 years when they begin to write long sentences and complicated words."

Q-4 Is it in any way affect the intelligence of the child?

Dr Upasana Mishra: "Generally, we see that the child has a very high IQ but doesn’t fare well academically. The child might be very bright in areas like drama, art, acting, music, sports, mechanics, designing, etc. The child may have low self-esteem as he won’t be able to cope with the normal education system and might be considered lazy and careless due to his symptoms of Dyslexia.

In such extremely sensitive cases, we should try to dig into the exact cause of what is making the child feel low. Parents and Teachers together have to evaluate the case of the child with the utmost care."


Q-5 Are there any techniques in Ayurveda that can heal it naturally over the period of time?

Dr Upasana Mishra: "Ayurveda has a lot in its bag for the Dyslexic ones. According to classical scriptures, the process of learning and knowledge acquisition is a combined result of the interaction of Indriyas (motor and cognitive organs), Indriyartha (sense organs), Mana (the psyche), Atma (consciousness) and Budhi(intellect). Hence, any imbalance in the constitutional composition of the human body can result in the imbalance in the sense organs, psyche, or consciousness which have a cascading effect on learning skills.


Q-6 Doctor, please suggest some techniques which can help the parents to deal with their child with dyslexic disorder.

Dr Upasana Mishra: " We can do to a lot to raise the spirits of Dyslexic children. These children learn the best through experiences, observation, demonstrative learning, and visualizations.

  1. Medhya (intellect promoting herbs) – Let us make it a habit to supplement some intellect promoting dugs to the kids which help in raising their cognitive functions and is of great help in the Dyslexic cases. Herbs like Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Shankapushpi, Guduchi, Madhuyasti prove to be very potent in improving the sensory and motor functions of the brain and enhance attention and memory.

  2. Ayurvedic Formulations - There are many proven ayurvedic formulations that help in improving their behavioral and cognitive aspects but these should be taken only under the prescription of an expert.

  3. Remedial Education – This is one of the most proven methods of addressing Dyslexic children. The use of specific teaching methodologies and materials, formulating a child-specific education program by the remedial teachers can be beneficial to fill the gap that the child had in his curriculum. The frequency of these remedial sessions can be 2-3 times a week in which they get guidance in academics and also can be trained physically which would increase their balance and strength, as a result, enhance their attention.

  4. Speech Therapy and Reading Habit - We as parents and also their guides can encourage the introduction of phonic sounds. They should be told that specific letters have specific sounds. The habit of reading stories would also be of great help as they can practice the newly learned phonics. Remedial sessions should be started as early as possible to get the maximum benefits.

Information credit

Dr. Upasana Mishra

B.A.M.S,MBA-MS,

Bangalore

dr.upasana.m@gmail.com


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