Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
The International Dyslexia Association (IDA)
Dyslexia in Children
Children with Dyslexia might make constant spelling and reading errors as follows:
(a) letter reversals, for instance, ‘b’ for ‘d’ as in ‘bog’ for ‘dog’,
(b) word reversals such as ‘pit’ for ‘tip’,
(c) inversions like ‘u’ for ‘n’ and ‘w’ for ‘m’,
(d) transpositions such as ‘left’ and ‘felt’,
(e) substitutions like ‘house’ for ‘home.
These children might transpose number sequences and get confused with arithmetic signs, struggle to recollect facts, might take a lot of time to learn new skills, they might prefer memorizing without actually gaining an understanding of the content and might find it difficult to read the clock.
LTK helping children to learn
The language tune-up-kit (LTK) is a software that provides an ideal learning platform to children by introducing them to around 5,000 new words. The LTK enables a mastery over reading through the following exercise sections:
In this section, the students read, record, and listen to recordings of new sentences. The LTK plays most of the words. Example sentence: “Lynn is knitting a sweater for Jan”.
The LTK plays a sentence and the students type the words of the sentence. The advantage that LTK offers is that it plays the word as it is being entered and beeps if a wrong word is entered. In addition, it provides three hints: Hint 1, displays the first letter of the word; hint 2, displays the second letter of the word; and hint 3, displays the entire word. Example sentence: “The mole ate his crops”.
Game word fill
In the Game word fill exercise, the students should complete sentences by choosing the correct word from the given list of words. After registering the answer, the LTK plays the entire sentence for the students to listen. Example: “The …twins will not take naps”. (cute/like). In this sentence, the students should choose ‘cute’ to complete the sentence.
In this puzzle game, the LTK displays a blank matrix of a puzzle and then provides a sentence with a missing word. The students are then prompted to select the right word from a sequence of words that are displayed on the screen to complete the sentence. Example: The firemen will respond to the …. In order to complete this sentence, the students should choose the word ‘alarm’ from the following word sequence: alarm, hard, mark, art, charm, tar, dark.
On successful completion of the LTK course, the students will be able to read unfamiliar multisyllabic words in and out of context by using the knowledge of all letter-sound correspondences, syllabication patterns, and inflections; read on-level text with purpose and understanding; read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy at an appropriate rate and expression. However, it is highly recommended for parents and teachers to cross-check that the students are able to understand what they read.
Children who experience dyslexia might seem brilliant in many things, but might struggle in some tasks; they might be unable to carry out instructions given in a sequence; have difficulty in learning a sequence, such as days of the week, months of the year, or letters of the alphabet; might be slow in reading or might make unexpected mistakes while reading; often are able to read a word and then might struggle with the same word as they read a passage; they might have a difficulty in understanding mathematical concepts, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; might confuse left and right; and struggle to understand time and tense.
Owing to the condition of dyslexia, these children usually get frustrated with the idea of reading itself and have low self-esteems. The LTK is a software developed to improve the reading skills in children and aids in the development of a love for learning in children through the following exercises:
Oral stories I
In this activity, the students read new stories over the LTK after which the LTK displays a sentence from the story with a missing word. The students should then enter the missing word to complete a sentence.
Oral stories II
In this activity, the students read new stories over the LTK and then answer two types of questions, namely, fill in the missing word and select a multiple choice answer.
With the help of LTK, the students will be able to state precisely the concept within a particular piece of text; can determine the main ideas in a text by figuring out the key attributes thereby summarizing the text; and will be able to explain the relationship or interaction between two individuals, events, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical scenario on the basis of specific information within the text. Therefore, these children will be able to read and understand complex informational texts from subjects including science, technology, mathematics, and social sciences.