Chennai: Prof Emeritus Angela Fawcett, Univesity of Swansea, and vice-president of British Dyslexia Association, stresses that schoolchildren should be screened to check for dyslexia. ‘…it must be noted that if fewer children are screened, then there are chances that many are losing a good opportunity. Likewise, if more are checked up, then they would be given proper treatment, dyslexia or not,” was her argument.
Addressing mediapersons on Monday at a meeting organised by the Madras Dyslexia Association in connection with her two-day workshop on the condition, she said, the screening will be of two kinds – Sensitivity and Specificity.
Issues in screening – is it worth it?
The key issue of why screening takes place is to check them and to help them combat their problem. The screening will be of two kinds – Sensitivity and Specificity.
In sensitivity, around 80 per cent of them will be identified with the problem. In the case of specificity, around 90 per cent will not be facing any issue. Also it must be noted that if fewer children are screened, then there are chances that many are losing a good opportunity. Likewise, if more are checked up, then they would be given proper treatment, dyslexia or not, she said.
Defining dyslexia as ‘reading performance that is markedly below what is expected, based on a person’s intelligence,’ Angela stated that the disorder is present in children, who, despite conventional classroom experience, fail to attain language skills of reading, writing and spelling equivalent to their intellectual abilities.
What are their executive functions?
It includes reasoning, memory power and self-control that can be improved. These need to be progressively developed as the children improve with repeated practice. The children will spend more time in activities that they are passionate about.
Use executive function interventions to build their motivation and to succeed. Emotional, social and character development (such as martial arts, yoga) are considered to be effective, but special children have poor executive functions that need time to catch up and be on a par with the normal ones.
Why is early identification so important?
Using the DST J India (dyslexia screening test – junior, India) in schools especially, it ensures early identification of this disorder, which is essential for timely intervention and support and helps in developing better academic and professional