Friday, 8 August 2014

Why does my child write some letters or numbers backwards?

Be calm. Your child is possibly dyslexic. Try to talk to your doctor if you suspect your child has dyslexia or another learning disability.  They may then refer you to a learning specialist, educational psychologist or speech therapist. The first step is evaluation so that you can take the appropriate steps at school and at home.

Other symptoms of dyslexia are difficult to recognize before a child enters school, but it becomes obvious as a child begins learning to read. However if left undiagnosed or untreated, difficulties faced by the child will continue until adulthood.

Here are difficulties faced by dyslexics:-

1. Memorizing their address, alphabets or multiplication tables.
2. Learning to tie their shoes.
3. Writing some letters or numbers backwards.
4. Learning to tell time on a clock with hands.
5. Telling left from right. 
6. Confusing letter pairs such as b-d, b-p, p-q, or g-j.
7. Saying sounds in the right order in multi-syllable words e.g. animal, spaghetti, hamburger, consonant
8. Handwriting:
          - Letters are not on the line.
          - Odd spacing between words.
          - Tall letters are sometimes written as short ones.
          - Tails don’t always hang below the line.
          - Sentences often don’t start with capital letters.
          - Punctuation is often left out.
9. Memorizing number facts
10. Correctly doing math operations
11. Learning a foreign language

However, most children with dyslexia can learn to read and many can remain in a regular classroom, but they will need help to do so. Usually in the USA, learning specialists use a variety of techniques to work with children with dyslexia on an ongoing basis.  

This article is written in conjunction with a science talk held at Petrosains on 23 June 2014 by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ong Puay Hoon, Senior Lecturer and Researcher at Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, UNIMAS.   She also does research on dyslexia and is the project leader of several researches in this area.

Shared by Azni
Learning Specialist, Petrosains

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