Faith was that child everyone called slow, she had issues with school work and reading was a chore for her. Her teachers got used to her being the last to understand whatever was being taught during lessons.
This problem was one of her parent’s main concerns seeing as she was a brilliant child in other fields of life that didn’t need books and study sessions.
Faith’s problem led to her becoming a reserved kid who rarely spoke up in class or engaged in activities that required her to be in front of crowds. Her parents changed institutes for her in the hopes that the right settings might help her reading and language skills.
The effects of all these constant changes resulted in the development of low self-esteem arising in the form of anxiety and panic attacks whenever she had to read in public areas.
The senior school year began with yet another school this one bigger and more organized than any she had attended before. It had a standard nurse office and a school psychologist in charge of caring for student’s mental and emotional health.
The school had been recommended by her dad’s workmate who spoke at length of the changes the institute had on his teenager, labeling the school as life-changing and a wise investment in the future of a child.
Three weeks into the term And Faith was standing in front of Mrs. Tessy the school psychologist’s office having been sent there by the phonetics teacher who no matter how hard he tried couldn’t get her to pronounce the words right.
Mrs. Tessy ran an evaluation test on her and requested she invite her parents to school the next day as her dilemma was not in any way a fault of hers but one caused by ignorance of an underlying issue.
Early the next morning Faith and her parents were sitting in Mrs. Tessy’s office and listening intently as she explained to them the root cause of Faith’s problem which was a learning disorder called ‘DYSLEXIA’. This dilemma made reading a task as the brain of a person suffering from dyslexia mixes or reverses words in a sentence creating a signal mixup in such a person’s mind.
The problem was not eyesight related she explained to them, it was either a gene-induced disorder or a result of an infection caused by drugs taken during pregnancy.
Dyslexia occurs when there is a difference in parts of the brain that processes language.
Mrs.Tessy enlightened them of the signs they missed that would have led to an earlier diagnosis, Some of which were:
- learning of words later than kids her age.
- Confusion between words that sound alike.
- Difficulty remembering words and rhymes.
- Spelling problems.
- Memorization and mispronunciation of words.
Kids with these signs suffer from dyslexia and though there is no defined cure for such mental illness it can be managed long term with special tutoring classes.
Mrs. Tessy encouraged them to enroll their child in a special training program that would allow her to learn through her disability at a reasonable pace.
To note: Statistics show that in Nigeria, more than 1.5 million cases of dyslexia exists per year, and the numbers that go undetected are of a higher percentage. A child with dyslexia is not less intelligent than any normal child.