Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Note on Dyslexia

Have you ever had  a dyslexic student in your classes? How do you handle that? 

Generally speaking, teachers do not know about dyslexia since there is not enough information given at universities on the issue. When they encounter with such a child, their behaviours can be so destructive that it can be traumatic for that child. They do not try to understand or be sympathetic- this may be the result of long hours of working or overpopulated classrooms. While teachers turn their heads away, children do struggle in the process - and they even get lost. They feel outcast, less smart, and -no surprise- they hate school. With the current education system, nothing much is being done for these children. 

The major problem is that it is often confused with different kinds of mental disorders. However, it is certain that it is not classified as a mental or learning disorder. It is simply a reading disorder -maybe I shouldn't say disorder since who decides "order"? Children with dyslexia have a different way of reading than the children without it. As in the example below, they just mix the letters like "b" and "p" or "a" and "e". For me it is just like being left-handed in a world full of right-handed people. Yet, the struggle is not to compare . 

I have been reading around about dyslexia ever since I found out that some of the brilliant minds in history such as Da Vinci and Einstein had dyslexia. So, it doesn't need to stop a child to be creative - or simply be themselves. That's why when I heard that there was a work on dyslexia displayed in Istanbul Design Biennial in 2014, ı got fully interested. It was the work of  Christian Boer, who is a designer. He designed a font for dyslexic people that makes reading easier. You can learn more and even download the dyslexie font from here:

As an English teacher, even though I tell myself over and over again that dyslexia makes no difference and that not every child needs to write properly, in today’s education system I cannot prevent them to get hurt, to feel lonely, to be "different". However, I try  to learn more on the issue. I am going to follow an online course on dyslexia for teachers on this website starting from April, 20. If you are interested, you can also join for free! (and there are also lots of courses on lots of different subjects.) 

P.S. : Author Tom McLaughlin shared some tips for dyslexic children in The Guardian that are amazing. You can also check it here: