Knowledge is Power. 5 D’s


Knowledge is Power. 5 D’s
Knowledge is Power. 5 D’s

Cathy Moore – ACSI ECD Coordinator

As a young teacher, I would often sit in staff rooms listening to more experienced teachers speaking about children with learning difficulties. They would use terminology that I had no understanding of even though I had studied Special Education. I made it my mission to understand different learning disabilities so that I could understand my students better. Among my favourite learning disabilities to research and discuss were dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dysnomia, dyslexia, and dyspraxia. Why? Because they are the hardest disabilities to explain.
As a young teacher, I would often sit in staff rooms listening to more experienced teachers speaking about children with learning difficulties. They would use terminology that I had no understanding of even though I had studied Special Education. I made it my mission to understand different learning disabilities so that I could understand my students better. Among my favourite learning disabilities to research and discuss were dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dysnomia, dyslexia, and dyspraxia. Why? Because they are the hardest disabilities to explain.

What is Dyscalculia?

Students with Dyscalculia struggle with the basic building blocks of numbers. These children have problems counting, understanding number value, and are unable to recall tables. Students with Dyscalculia also get confused with printed symbols and signs and have difficulty understanding time and directions, making it hard for them to move on to more advanced mathematics. Many people with this disorder also struggle with visual-spatial relationships or processing what they hear. Dyscalculia can differ from person to person.

What is Dyscalculia?

Students with Dyscalculia struggle with the basic building blocks of numbers. These children have problems counting, understanding number value, and are unable to recall tables. Students with Dyscalculia also get confused with printed symbols and signs and have difficulty understanding time and directions, making it hard for them to move on to more advanced mathematics. Many people with this disorder also struggle with visual-spatial relationships or processing what they hear. Dyscalculia can differ from person to person.

What is Dysgraphia?

Dyslexia is a reading disorder in which a child struggles with learning the relationship between letters and sounds. Students who have dyslexia may experience late language development and have problems learning how to write and spell when they enter formal schooling. Symptoms include poor literacy skills, reversed letter and word sequences and poor handwriting. Dyslexic students have problems comprehending what they have read due to poor letter recognition. The good news is that if the student is diagnosed with dyslexia early enough, more than likely they will learn to read.

What is Dysgraphia?

Dysgraphia is a learning disability that is marked by difficulty in writing letters and recalling how letters are formed. Students with Dysgraphia also battle to write sentences and use punctuation correctly. Apart from letter formation problems, students with Dysgraphia also have problems with fine motor skills such as zipping a jacket or tying their shoes, etc. Many students who suffer from dysgraphia often develop verbal skills to compensate for their handwriting issues. Because little research has been conducted on this learning disability, it is often misdiagnosed.

What is Dysnomia?

Dysnomia is a learning disability that is marked by difficulty in recalling words, names and numbers from memory. The real problem stems from the fact that the words that they cannot remember are essential, as they are needed for oral or written expressive language. The person may provide a detailed description of the word in question but is unable to recall its exact name. Dysnomia is often misdiagnosed as expressive language disorder.

What is Dysnomia?

Dysnomia is a learning disability that is marked by difficulty in recalling words, names and numbers from memory. The real problem stems from the fact that the words that they cannot remember are essential, as they are needed for oral or written expressive language. The person may provide a detailed description of the word in question but is unable to recall its exact name. Dysnomia is often misdiagnosed as expressive language disorder.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a reading disorder in which a child struggles with learning the relationship between letters and sounds. Students who have dyslexia may experience late language development and have problems learning how to write and spell when they enter formal schooling. Symptoms include poor literacy skills, reversed letter and word sequences and poor handwriting. Dyslexic students have problems comprehending what they have read due to poor letter recognition. The good news is that if the student is diagnosed with dyslexia early enough, more than likely they will learn to read.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a reading disorder in which a child struggles with learning the relationship between letters and sounds. Students who have dyslexia may experience late language development and have problems learning how to write and spell when they enter formal schooling. Symptoms include poor literacy skills, reversed letter and word sequences and poor handwriting. Dyslexic students have problems comprehending what they have read due to poor letter recognition. The good news is that if the student is diagnosed with dyslexia early enough, more than likely they will learn to read.

What is Dyspraxia?

Dyspraxia, which is also known as Apraxia, is a learning disability that is marked by difficulty in carrying out routines that require the use of balance, fine-motor skills, and coordination. Usually, we think of these students as merely being “clumsy” or “awkward.” Students with dyspraxia need to seen by an occupational therapist to strengthen their fine and gross motor skills. Verbal Dyspraxia describes a lowered ability to use speech sounds, which is usually the sign of a developmental delay. Verbal Dyspraxia can be separate from or accompany dyspraxia. Students with dyspraxia may also suffer from slightly slurred speech and short-term memory loss.

As educators, we may not diagnose these learning disabilities. They need to be formally diagnosed by an Educational Psychologist.

What is Dyspraxia?

Dyspraxia, which is also known as Apraxia, is a learning disability that is marked by difficulty in carrying out routines that require the use of balance, fine-motor skills, and coordination. Usually, we think of these students as merely being “clumsy” or “awkward.” Students with dyspraxia need to seen by an occupational therapist to strengthen their fine and gross motor skills. Verbal Dyspraxia describes a lowered ability to use speech sounds, which is usually the sign of a developmental delay. Verbal Dyspraxia can be separate from or accompany dyspraxia. Students with dyspraxia may also suffer from slightly slurred speech and short-term memory loss.

As educators, we may not diagnose these learning disabilities. They need to be formally diagnosed by an Educational Psychologist.

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