Thursday, May 21, 2015

What's Dys?

Dysgraphia, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia.." what's dys ? " you may ask yourself. Don't shake in your cowboy boots-I am here to the rescue! 
  Are you digging my cool outfit?

Dysgraphia- Difficulty writing or putting thoughts onto paper. Holding a pencil and organizing letters or the physical act of writing is strenuous. Spelling may be a struggle as well.  Putting ideas into language that is organized, stored and then retrieved from memory, may also add to struggles with written expression. 

The initial symptoms are trouble with fine motor skills such as shoe tying, holding a pencil, and zipping a coat. They often suffer from poor handwriting. The term comes from the Greek words dys (“impaired”) and graphia (“making letter forms by hand”). Dysgraphia is a brain-based issue. It’s not the result of a child being lazy.

Dyscalculia- Difficulty learning or comprehending arithmetic, such as difficulty in understanding numbers, learning how to manipulate numbers, and learning facts in Mathematics. It is generally seen as a specific developmental disorder. (source: Wikipedia). 

According to Brain Balance Centers , “often people with this condition can understand very complex mathematical concepts but have difficulty processing formulas or basic addition and subtraction. A person with the disorder may struggle with visual-spatial relationships or processing what he or she hears.”

Dysphagia- Swallowing difficulty and swallowing disorders. Dysphagia may also be associated with pain. In some cases, swallowing may be impossible. It is usually indicative of an issue with the esophagus. The reason I include dysphagia is because it often affects speech and language development.

Dyslexia- It is also known as Alexia or developmental reading disorder. It is not just seeing letters backwards. It is about struggling in the area of reading because of difficulty identifying speech sounds and how they relate to letters/words. Dyslexia is often the most-focused on and discussed learning disability. I have a free download to share on how to identify dyslexia and strategies for working with dyslexic students HERE.

Dyspraxia- Dyspraxia is also known as Praxia, Motor Learning Difficulties, Perceptuo-Motor Dysfunction, and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Children with dyspraxia often skip the crawling stage and enter the walking stage.

 Dyspraxia causes issues with movement, fine (small) and gross (large) motor skills, coordination, memory, processing and cognitive skills. It can also affect the nervous and immune systems.

1 in 5 children have a learning disability.  

Help Guide states, “A learning disability is not a problem with intelligence or motivation. Kids with learning disabilities aren’t lazy or dumb. In fact, most are just as smart as everyone else. Their brains are simply wired differently. This difference affects how they receive and process information.”

And now you know! And knowledge really is power. Here are some recommended iPad Apps for Reading Disabilities. 

I live on both sides of the coin--I am an educator and a parent. Putting on my parent hat, I want to say THANK YOU to all the educators out there. I know it takes patience to work with students of any grade and age. I always tried to tell myself when I was teaching that I should always treat a child like I wanted my own son to be treated. So thank you for what you do every day and know someone out there--even if it's a stranger with a blog--appreciates all you do. You got this! Now go conquer the world!
And remember this...

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