Understanding Dyslexia By: Lila

For my Health Buzz project, I chose Dyslexia as a topic to research. Dyslexia happens when our brain have trouble or take longer time to match simple letters with the sound of the letter. Hence, people with dyslexia have difficulty in spelling, reading, and writing. Since, as a student, reading and writing take up a huge part of our life, I chose to research about this issue. Another reason why I chose this issue is because according to statistics, dyslexia is a common language disorder. It was estimated that 1 in 5 people in the world has it. Therefore, I feel it is very important for us to learn about this issue and hopefully, we can understand people with dyslexia.

One of the things I learnt about dyslexia is that many scientists still yet has to fully establish what exactly caused it, however they believe that genes, different brain anatomy and activities may increase the possibility of having dyslexia. If a child has dyslexia, it is likely he or she gets it from one of the parents. Also, approximately 40% of siblings of children with dyslexia may have the same disorder. A person may also has dyslexia when the brain looks and acts differently than the average human. For example, the planum temporale which plays a role in understanding language is usually larger in our dominant hemisphere than in the other hemisphere. However, for people with dyslexia, their planum temporale is around the same size on both hemispheres of the brain. The other thing I learnt about dyslexia is that there are several steps to diagnose this disorder. The first step is to get a medical exam where we test if the child has any vision or hearing problem which affects the way he or she read and write. Next, a visit to specialist like a psychologist who specializes in learning issues can help to determine if a person has dyslexia by performing the common dyslexic tests. Another thing I learnt about dyslexia is that sadly, there is no cure for it since it is not a disease.

Researching about dyslexia has expanded my knowledge about learning disability. I used to think that dyslexic person may be less intelligent, but now I understand that dyslexia does not affect intelligence. However, having difficulty in reading and writing may affect listening comprehension and social skills. Student with dyslexia may struggle to work at school. Especially for teenagers, during their adolescent period when they may have experience emotional changes (known as mood swings), being dyslexic may result in feeling, shamed, loss of confidence, and being a victim of bullies. However, with family supports, determination, proper instruction, and hard work, student with dyslexia can succeed academically and in their lives. Some famous people who are dyslexic are Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Hans Christian Andersen, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Edison, Tom Cruise, Walt Disney, Cher, Whoopi Goldberg and Caitlyn Jenners. When we have a relative or a friend who is dyslexic, we have to be supportive of their learning. Our support for dyslexic friend or relative will help their well being because wellness is not only about being physically fit, but also being healthy in mind and having a good self esteem.


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