A Life Span Project: a Child with Dyslexia

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In this life span project I will be talking about a child that with dyslexia but his family will not accept that this child have dyslexia. In this life span project, I will be sharing the signs that this child is showing that is related to dyslexia base on my readings in the internet and in books. I will be sharing the symptoms of dyslexia according to my assessment of the child and will be relating it to my research; it will be from different age groups in his preschool years, in kindergarten and fourth grade and up to higher level. Then I will be sharing my own strategies have used with this child and what I found out in my research and to prove that this child have dyslexia.

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What is dyslexia? According to my research on the meaning of International Dyslexia Association dyslexia is a language-based disability that affects both oral and written language. With help, children with dyslexia can become successful readers. Find out the warning signs for dyslexia that preschool and elementary school children might display. In this family there are four children all of the older children are normal, but with the youngest most of his behavior are not normal for children his age. With the youngest child, he was a happy child as an infant and as his started to age things kind of look different. As he started, preschool things started to seems a little different now that this child is attending school.

It all started when he had a homework and when I first started working with him i thought it was nothing. As I kept repeating the letters of his name every day after school, I could not tell that he was struggling to recognize the letters to his name even the first letter of his name. Then he had an assignment on sounding the letters of the alphabet. Still even when the sounding of the letters are repeated to him but there was still no recognizing of the letter and the sounds. At first it never occurred to me that maybe this child have some type of disability, I just thought well maybe he was slow and it takes time.

Now that he is in the six grade when he was supposed to be in the eighth grade, things started to fall into place. When his older brother came to visit he started to make jokes on his little brother, saying “hey lil bro I think you have a disability”. It was funny at first but then his older brother started to get all serious and then as i read into the types of disability. I started reading more about the symptoms of the different kind of disabilities and dyslexia out of all stand out. With most of the symptoms about dyslexia it very much relate to this child based on my assessment of him when he was at a young age.

According to my research on the symptoms that this child is showing it is very much similar to the symptoms of dyslexia that is found on my research using the internet and books. According to International Dyslexia Association:

● May talk later than most children

● May have difficulty pronouncing words, i.e., busgetti for spaghetti, mawn lower for lawn mower

● May be slow to add new vocabulary words

● May be unable to recall the right word

● May have difficulty with rhyming

● May have trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, colors, shapes, how to spell and write his or her name

● May have trouble interacting with peers

● May be unable to follow multi-step directions or routines

● Fine motor skills may develop more slowly than in other children

● May have difficulty telling and/or retelling a story in the correct sequence

● Often has difficulty separating sounds in words and blending sounds to make words.

With the symptoms that I have observe with this child most of the symptoms that are mentioned in here are mostly what I have seen in this child and what he was struggling with in his preschool years as a toddler.

The second group age that I have found evidence that this child is struggling in his education is the symptoms of when this child-started kindergarten go to up to higher levels and most of the symptoms are related to this child. According to International Dyslexia Association common signs for kindergarten to fourth grade has difficulty decoding single words (reading single words in isolation)

● May be slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds

● May confuse small words – at/to, said/and, does/goes

● Makes consistent reading and spelling errors including:

○ Letter reversals – d for b as in, dog for bog

○ Word reversals – tip for pit

○ Inversions – m and w, u and n

○ Transpositions – felt and left

○ Substitutions – house and home

● May transpose number sequences and confuse arithmetic signs (+ – x / =)

● May have trouble remembering facts

● May be slow to learn new skills; relies heavily on memorizing without understanding

● May be impulsive and prone to accidents

● May have difficulty planning

● Often uses an awkward pencil grip (fist, thumb hooked over fingers, etc.)

● May have trouble learning to tell time

● May have poor fine motor coordination

Most of the symptoms that I have read relate to this child as he go through kindergarten and going to higher levels.

There is also another symptom that I now notice well it was there but it never occurred to me is the way he speaks, it is not normal for kids his age. With his language, this child is still struggling to pronounce some words, or even finish a sentence without even stuttering. There are times when he speak it is very hard to understand what his trying to say, even when he repeat himself. According to Dell Orto children with learning disabilities can have from borderline intelligence to above average learning capacity. Many theorists maintain that a true learning disability represents delayed or irregular development resulting from dysfunction of the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for language, higher- order cognitive abilities, and information processing. According to Mandal,  rapid serial naming – This refers to a person’s ability to name numbers, colures or objects as quickly as possible. Verbal processing speed – Verbal processing speed refers to how long it takes a person to understand and recognise information such as numbers and letters. For example, a child with dyslexia may not be able to write down a telephone number they are told or may have difficulty turning to a particular page number when instructed to do so. This refer to how this child is struggling with his speech or language skills, but not all of the symptoms that where mentioned by Mandal are related to this child.

While seeing this child struggle with dyslexia I just want to know. What was the cause of this disability? Is it a family curse or is there another explanation to it in medical term. In our Samoan culture, there is always an explanation or reason to why something happen, and with this child there were many issue which are not even worth talking about. However, according to Mandal (2019, February 26) he exact cause of this condition is not known but it is generally thought to run in families. Research has identified six genes that may contribute to the development of dyslexia, although the condition is thought to be caused by a combination of factors. According to Albrecht (2006) family history is also important in the diagnosis of dyslexia. Approximately half the children with a parent with dyslexia will also have reading difficulties. However, the specific mechanisms by which genetic factors predispose someone to dyslexia are not clear.

What can I do to help this child with dyslexia? When this child started school he was struggling with his homework, assignments and he sometimes did not want to go to school. What are some strategies or ways that I can do to help with this child, is there a treatment for dyslexia. When babysitting this child the strategies that I use when dealing with this child I mostly use visual aid to and keep repeating his letters and numbers and when doing his assignments. I have learned about the visual aid strategies in the preschool years and kindergarten years. It was never an easy strategy when I have to repeat myself repeatedly but having to think of what this child will have to go through with his education it gives me motivation.

While doing my research on way or treatment for children with dyslexia the strategy that I have been using is one of the strategies that were mentioned in an article. Evaluates short- and long-term effects of a treatment for dyslexia. Notes that the treatment focuses on learning to recognize and to make use of the phonological and morphological structure of Dutch words. Finds that the results of the treatment were clear improvements in reading words, reading text and spelling.

With what I read about another way to help a child or children with dyslexia. Base on Dell Orto mandates that every student with disabilities have an individual educational plan specifying clear instructional objectives and needed services. The “least restrictive setting” principle requires that students with learning disabilities be included in the regular classroom as much as possible; they may visit a resource teacher for part of the day or may receive one-to-one tutoring. Students with more serious learning and behavior problems may be placed in a segregated special education classroom with a specially trained teacher and a low student-to-teacher ratio. Many students with learning disabilities improve in settings that maximize individualized instruction.

In the starting of this life span project, I have stated that this child has dyslexia and I will prove that he is a child with dyslexia. Throughout my research, I found many of the signs that relate to this child about the different signs of children with dyslexia in other researchers findings. I was glad that the strategies that I have used are more similar to the strategies and techniques that I have read about in my research. Even though this child is still struggling with dyslexia but there is still hope that this child can live a normal life. Base on my research of children that are being treated they have a chance in living a normal life in education.Two experiments were conducted to provide a window on the processes by which the accuracy and rate of reading develop during psycholinguistic treatment for dyslexia. In experiment 1,140 children with dyslexia followed a treatment method that presented them with a learning system that clarifies the basic elements and operations by which one’s writing system encodes the characteristics of the spoken language system. The results revealed that during the first half of treatment most progress was made on reading accuracy, which gradually transformed into a more prominent (or pronounced) improvement in the reading rate during the second half of treatment. Experiment 2 examined the reading of 46 individuals with dyslexia after termination of their treatment. It was shown that following mastering of the reading system the reading rate, as opposed to reading accuracy, continues to improve. These findings are discussed vis-a-vis the remediation of reading fluency.

With this life span I have learned and read about a lot of children with dyslexia and way that we as adults, older siblings, teachers, babysitters can help a child. It is not an easy task but with the researches that are being done, there is a way to treat and cure dyslexia. I have lived with a child that was struggling with his education for 13 years but never have I thought that is was it a disability called dyslexia. I am glad that I have tried to teach this child using strategies that I have learned and little by little, there is a change each day.   

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