COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT OF DYSLEXIC LEARNERS
by Anna Sawa
The early recognition of dyslexia symptoms is crucial for further cognitive development of children with special needs. Teaching 6-9 year-olds you should be particular about your students’ spatial orientation, memory, classification, sequencing and spelling skills.
Dyslexic children have problems with following the spatial instructions – they are unable to differentiate between left and right side. It is complicated for them to decode prepositions of place, such as: next to, between, opposite, on the left/right, above, under, behind, etc.
Children with dyslexia find difficult to learn by heart simple rhymes and poems or even words. Speech disorder - children with specific difficulties in learning start to speak later than their peers. They have problems with appropriate sound production and pronunciation. They cannot see differences between minimal pairs, such as: bed/bad, pig/big, foot/food, dry/try, etc.
Classification and sequencing
Dyslexic students not only find difficult learning shapes and colours, but also have problems with words classification according to shape, size or colour. It is not easy for them to tell the time or sequence events. Children with special needs learn numbers with difficulty – they mix numbers order, they are unable to remember mathematical signs (+, -, =) or they very often miscount.
Alphabet and spelling
Children with dyslexic problems find difficult to learn letters of the alphabet – they mix the order or cannot match the letter and the sound. They have problem with isolating words from the sentence or syllables from the words. They are unable to understand the instructions or stories. What is more, they spell and write the words with a lot of mistakes.
Read more abouta auditory and visual perception of dyslexic learners.
Here are presented some ideas to support dyslexic children’s cognitive development:
Observation and description
- Point to different objects and name them or play the game Guess what I can see or I can see something (blue / oval / fluffy, etc.).
- Encourage children to find differences or similarities at the closest environment or at the pictures.
- Ask students to find and name distinguishing features of some objects.
- Divide objects according to their size, colour or shape with the students.
- Play Odd one out and ask children to explain why some things do not go together.
- Tell the story and then ask your students to put its parts in the right order (use pictures or clue words / expressions). You can encourage children to retell the story as well.
- Play the game What is missing? (use pictures, toys or any objects)
- Ask children to match pictures to their shadows.
- Encourage children to play with the puzzles or building blocks.
Read more about dealing with dyslexia in the classroom.