Have you ever wondered why a student who is intelligent and full of ideas can be dejected and slow when it comes to classroom activities like reading, writing and pronunciation of words? Take a moment and think about your student who seems to take forever to read a sentence and to write his ABC's. You may have assumed that he is too lazy to reason. On top of that, it can be disheartening to spend a lot of time and money on a diet plan for such students, but have you thought of the possibility that he may be dyslexic? What do I mean? Well,this article explains what dyslexia is; it's emotional impact on students and probable ways to resolve the negative impact of dyslexia on the emotions of people, mostly students.
WHAT IS DYSLEXIA?
Dyslexia is a learning disorder characterized by challenges in processing words into meaningful information due to a condition of the brain. Dyslexia comes from the Greek word "dys" meaning difficulty and "lexia" meaning word or reading. Dyslexia is caused not by emotional or family challenges. Rather, it is thought to be caused by biological factors like brain chemistry and genetic influences, which means that, individual can inherit this condition from a parent. Dyslexia affects the parts of the brain responsible for learning how to read, and as such words may seem distorted in their sight, they find difficult in spelling and writing words.
THE EMOTIONAL IMPACT OF DYSLEXIA ON STUDENTS
Generally, emotions are feelings stemmed from happiness, love, shame, fear or even hatred which can be caused by one's company, a situation or state of mind. Emotional events are remembered more vividly and for longer periods of time than the natural events.In fact, emotions have a huge impact on how we feel about our lives. Most often, emotions set in when dyslexics see their mates ahead of them all the time,and are constantly being looked down upon. With the passing stigma, their self confidence is shattered, making them feel as though they are "good for nothing". The pain of dyslexics failing to meet their expectations makes them emotionaly weak. They grow up believing they are terrible, dumb and inadequate and they frequently have problems relating to society because of the misconceptions people may have about them. These and many more build anxiety, exaggerated worry, tension and depression in the dyslexics even when there is nothing to incite it.
DYSLEXIA CAUSING SHAME AND GUILT
Shame is the feeling of frustration you experience when you fail to live up to expectations that define your true self. Dyslexics always feel terrible about what they do. In other words, dyslexics constantly live in guilt. These feelings often cause the individual to hide their difficulties. Also, some dylexics oppose their learning challenges as a defence mechanism just to reduce anxiety arising from unacceptable harmful stimuli and to maintain one's self-schema. However, this mechanism doesn't work for dyslexics. It is unhealthy for dyslexics because defence mechanisms may result in healthy or unhealthy consequences depending on the circumstances and frequency with which the mechanism is used. In the case of dyslexics, it will result in poor self-concept and lack of confidence. Some adult dyslexics feel ashamed of the types of difficulties they are trying to cope with. These difficulties could be slow processing, basic skills, attention and organisation difficulties, Chronic forgetfulness and social awkwardness. The feeling of having a guilty secret is something that is very frequently announced by dyslexics and is as a result of how they see themselves.
DYSLEXIA CAUSING CONFUSION
Confusion is the inability to think or reason in a focused and clear manner. Confusion can have causes that are not due to underlying disease. For instance, sleep deprivation, stress and information overload can cause confusion, but in the context of people with dyslexia, the confused dyslexic doesn't know he is a dyslexic and struggles through school and life unaware of what causes his trouble with words or learning. Often, dyslexic adults thoroughly get confused about themselves, especially when trying to fit into the world of non-dyslexics. However, dyslexic difficulties are more likely to be recognized at the early stage while the child is at school; probably at the primary level rather than the tertiary level. Also, recognition of dyslexia at the early stage helps manage confusion and it makes the victim willingly disclose and acknowledge his condition to himself and others.
WAYS TO RESOLVE FROM THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF DYSLEXIA
We have learnt the emotional impact of dyslexia and how negatively those emotions affect our well-being.However, emotion has its own reasons for existing; irrespective of it's nagging presentiment of dangers, it serves a purpose too. So,the following are ways to resolve from the emotional impact of dyslexia.
ACCEPTING YOURSELF AS A DYSLEXIC
Dyslexic is a condition for life. So why not accept yourself as a good person who makes mistakes rather than feeling inferior among other people about the things you couldn't get right. Not to offend anyone, but accepting that you are just not a confident person and resultantly always feeling unaccepted around other people will not define your personality. l think people knowing your flaws will make you feel more comfortable and less anxious around others, boosting your self confidence around them.
Self-help is something that cannot be given to you by someone else, and must be reached on your own. So as a dyslexic, you need to admit you are perfect as you are and that you don't necessarily need anyone else's help to become a perfect person. You are already perfect as a dyslexic.Shunrya Suzuki said something and l quote, "Everything is perfect and there is always room for improvement. It's part of human nature to always look for perfection but whenever a dyslexic is presented with something better than himself it will be easy for him to internalize that there is something wrong with him. Therefore once a dyslexic accepts that they don't need perfection nor need someone else's help to become an influential person, it's only then that people's advice truly become useful to them. Self help is used to enhance oneself. No one can help dyslexics better except themselves.
FACING YOUR UNCERTAINTY
Dyslexics feel insecure because of the irrational interpretations they make about themselves and the ability to get something done.These interpretations create a false reality about how they or things ought to be in particular situations. Also, these interpretations make them succumb to the fact that they are not enough. As a result, they feel unworthy and incapable of fully being themselves when around others. Moreover,the root cause of dyslexics insecurities stems from clusters of unpleasant memories they have held onto for many periods.This clearly shows us that, dyslexics can identify their insecurities but what they lack is being objective, challenging their insecurities, changing their perspectives. It's easy for dyslexics to be hard on themselves after making a mistake. But blaming themselves because of mistakes only keeps them stuck in a negative cycle of shame and self-loathing.
African parents and teachers are very good at noticing problems in their children but what they miss is the emotional side that comes with the problem. When a student seems to take forever to read and write or seems not to do well in class, before any comparison to others,observe to see whether it is a case of dyslexia. Dyslexics are not failures, they just need a different style of parenting to succeed in life.
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