‘Learning differences are a gift and not a stigma’ – this is a realisation that has only come to shine in the past decade or so. Thanks to raised awareness of learning differences like dyslexia and the success of iconic figures with learning differences like Steve Jobs who was dyslexic; it has become more readily accepted that a learning difficulty in no way reflects basic intelligence.
A learning difference can mean anything; poor memory, speech problems, reading and writing difficulty, low concentration, comprehension problems, difficulty with social interaction etc. In the past, children with such difficulties have been mislabelled as ‘lazy’, ‘dumb’, ‘clumsy’ or similar and were deemed to be unsuitable for mainstream classes and often left to one side. This exclusion can be detrimental for the self-esteem and confidence of the child. Not only will their difficulty worsen without the support they need, but they may become ashamed about their learning difficulty and become de-motivated because they start to believe that they really are ‘dumb’. It should be noted here that often the opposite is true: it has been found that children with dyslexia frequently have a higher than average IQ.
Don’t deny dyslexia or other learning difficulties – challenge them
If you notice a child has a learning difficulty like dyslexia please do not ignore it, get them the professional assistance and support they need. Although learning differences like dyslexia may be irreversible, there is still plenty that can be done to equip your child with the appropriate strategies and tools to manage their learning difficulty with ease. Early intervention for children with learning differences is so important to ensure their success and appropriate management of their difficulty. Speech and Language Therapists are equipped to help children with learning differences like dyslexia to tackle their difficulties and reach their potential.