Read and write: do not want or fail?
Often, both parents and teachers tend to see the cause of poor school performance solely in the child’s laziness: "He simply does not try." But experts believe that 80% of problems with studies are not caused by laziness. With what? Let's see!
Our consultant Inna BAS, speech therapist at the Center for Child and Family Psychology of the magazine “World of Family”
“I am ashamed to show my son's notebooks to someone. All children try to write beautifully, but he has dirt, blots, lines are crawling, letters in words are confused ... ”“ The child categorically refuses to read. I still have to read aloud his assignments from school textbooks. ”
Such complaints are often heard from the parents of pupils of the lower grades. Of course, if a child has problems at school, then the easiest way is to write them off as an unwillingness to learn. Moreover, sometimes it is very difficult to determine the boundary between laziness and objective reasons for which the student is not to blame.How to determine where reluctance ends and the problem begins? Probably one of the main criteria - the age of the child. Trying to read, the six-year-old forgets some letters and tries to rearrange the syllables in words. A first grader slowly and uncertainly scratches notebooks in a notebook and confuses similar letters. Do I start to panic? In no case! Absolutely all children face similar difficulties at the beginning of their studies.
But when you have to read textbooks aloud to a sixth-grader, because it is difficult for him to overcome at least a couple of lines on his own - here, probably, one can already speak of pronounced dyslexia. When a child in the third grade still forgets which way the tail of the letter “y” is written, stubbornly swaps syllables, forgets to put dots at the end of a sentence or makes some other characteristic, constantly recurring errors - he is most likely a disgraph. But the diagnosis can not speak before the third and fourth grade. Is it possible in advance for some signs to determine that your child may encounter similar difficulties at school? After all, then it will be possible to take action in advance.
Inna Bass:The main reasons for the possible difficulties with writing and reading are two. The first and most common is the so-called minimal brain dysfunction (MMD). They occur due to small organic brain damage. For example, during fetal development, the fetus experienced a lack of oxygen. Or giving birth was hard. Or in early childhood, the baby fell and hit his head - a trauma that seems to be a trifle, but the consequence of it can be minimal brain dysfunction and related problems. External manifestations of MMD in early childhood can be problems with the development of speech, hyperactivity, impaired attention. Parents of such children need to be prepared in advance for the fact that at school their children may have difficulty reading, writing or counting.
Another reason is heredity. Dyslexia and dysgraphia are associated not only with brain injuries, but also with congenital features of its structure: for example, the belated division of “responsibilities” between the right and left hemispheres. The back of the left hemisphere “specializes” in reading, and if in children who easily learn to read this area of the brain is slightly larger, in dyslexics the back of the left and right hemispheres are the same. This feature can be inherited.So if dad had school problems with reading or writing, then it is quite possible that children will have the same difficulties. It also happens that children are fine, but their grandchildren get their grandfathers the problems.
By the way, due to the peculiarities of the distribution of functions between the hemispheres of the brain, difficulties with writing and reading occur in left-handed children. In boys, such disorders occur 3-4 times more often than in girls. This is again due to the peculiarities of the brain. For example, in boys, in the area of the brain that transmits signals between the right and left hemispheres, there is an order of magnitude less nerve endings.
Reading and writing is hard work.
Often parents do not understand the problems of children with reading and writing, because they themselves have long forgotten how difficult it is to teach these skills. For an adult, reading and writing is simple and natural: you run through the lines with your eyes, and the phrases themselves form in my head. Now I am writing and absolutely do not think about what fingers to press which computer keys. I, too, work - the head thinks, and the fingers themselves drum on the keyboard!
Meanwhile, reading and writing are the most complicated mental process in which several brain areas take part at once, and auditory, visual, and motor analyzers interact.Even the most ordinary child, who does not have any problems with writing and reading, all the necessary skills are finally formed only by 10-11 years old. And if one of the systems fails?
Inna Bass:Indeed, reading and writing is a very hard job for a younger student. Just imagine. You dictate a simple sentence to the child: “Lisa came to school early in the morning.” To write, he must first memorize it, then decompose the sentence into words, words into sounds. Then you need to correlate each sound with the letter, with its graphic outline. Then the motor analyzer comes into play - the hand “remembers” the movements necessary to “draw” the necessary letters. What an adult does automatically for a child is a tremendous mental work! In the first grade it is very difficult. Look at how a first grader does homework: he will write a line, look out the window, think, write a few more words ... He cannot be scolded for being lazy. There are very few truly lazy children. Baby is really difficult. Parents of first-graders should not forget that, according to recent studies of physiologists, a child who is just starting to learn to write can continuously write no more than three minutes.And my mother sometimes grumbles: “Here, I wrote the first line beautifully, and in the second and third letters they dance.” The schoolboy was tired, his hand began to tremble, so it did not work out very carefully. It is impossible to force children to rewrite, tear out “spoiled” sheets. From this, the child will not write better. But it will start to be afraid, to hate the letter.
Such similar letters
Although reading and writing problems are commonly referred to as “dyslexia” and “dysgraphia”, they manifest themselves differently for each child. One stubbornly rearranges syllables in places, the other confuses letters that are similar in writing, the third writes them "mirror", the fourth one is not at all able to "keep the line", and his scribbles crawl all over the notebook. It happens that the child is equally hard to give and reading, and a letter. And it happens that the student has no problems with reading, but he writes simply monstrous. By the way, my child had such a problem - he read (and reads) avidly, but it is still painfully difficult for him to fill out a diary or complete a written task.
Error analysis will help a speech therapist determine where the child’s “weak point” is located, and depending on this, develop a correction tactic.
Inna Bass:Indeed, it happens that a schoolchild experiences both difficulties in reading and writing. It happens that the child reads perfectly, but cannot write normally. Therefore, it is impossible to give general recommendations; in each case, the specialist must understand separately.
If a child has an underdeveloped visual analyzer, he cannot distinguish between letters that are close in spelling. He seems to be the same "e" and "c", he does not see the difference between "sh" and "u", because he simply does not notice this little tail. Sometimes these children confuse words that are similar in spelling, for example, such as “nose” and “sleep”. And in the letter they rearrange the syllables, write letters in a mirror image.
In addition, the problem may lie in the auditory analyzer. Each person has three types of hearing: physical, with the help of which we hear “sounds in general” - the noise of foliage, a phone call, a growl of a car driving past the window; musical, which allows us to recognize the melodies; phonemic, helping to distinguish and understand speech. The word consists of sounds, and each of them in the letter is denoted by a letter. If a child does not clearly hear the sounds of speech, it will of course be hard for him to write.“S” and “s”, “b” and “p” sound the same for him. Words that contain these sounds (for example, “barrel” and “kidney”) will also be confused. Therefore, if a preschooler has speech problems (“mess” in the mouth, difficulty with the pronunciation of individual sounds), it is advisable to consult with a speech therapist as soon as possible. Otherwise, they may pull up difficulties with writing and reading at school.
Dyslexia and dysgraphia cannot be called “diseases” - these are just features of development. Therefore, we can not say that they are "being treated". Rather, corrected. And each child requires a separate correctional program. It is useless to simply “train writing and reading”: “Today, instead of football, you will read (or rewrite) two pages from a book.” It will not help. First, you need to determine the cause of the difficulties. For example, a child has underdeveloped visual perception, and he does not distinguish between some letters. So, you need to work out those that are not given to him - first, each separately, then in the words where they occur. Give your son or daughter a pencil and a text page, ask them to find the right letters and underline them. There are a lot of useful exercises.Speech therapist will help you choose those that are specific to your child. And one more very important thing: remember, the diagnoses “dyslexia” and “dysgraphia” cannot be made by either the teacher or the school psychologist. As a rule, a speech therapist does this, but a neurologist must confirm his findings. Usually a speech therapist, a neuropathologist and a psychologist work in the speech center. They communicate with the child, confer and together make a diagnosis. The treatment should be complex: it is necessary to have a speech therapy correction, which may need to be supported by drug treatment, and work with a psychologist. Do not postpone the visit to a specialist, because dyslexia and dysgraphy drag other problems - psychological ones.
Believe in yourself
Probably, psychological problems are the most unpleasant "legacy" of dyslexia and dysgraphy. If in the first-second class failures are not so noticeable, then after the third or fourth class these features begin to strike out. Low marks for reading and writing, ridicule of more successful peers gradually form a “loser’s complex” for the pupil, and low self-esteem. The teachers of the old school can have a hand in this,who perceive difficulties with reading and writing not as a problem, but as a lazy student and unwillingness of parents to deal with them. As a result, the child, who was enrolled in the “eternal losers”, loses interest in learning, or it may even hate school.
Inna Bass:Yes, often the problems in the school grow like a snowball. To the inability to read and write, mathematics is added first (there, too, you need to read the assignment, write the task). The number of items increases. And study is given to the child all the more difficult. After all, "learning" means "reading and writing." Therefore, if you are already worried about something at an early age, it is better to engage in correction in the first grade, so that it becomes easier later.
Now every school has a speech therapist. But for some children, “communication” with him gives a psychological trauma - if you stay for extra classes, it means that you are a bad student. With such suspicious and impressionable children, it is better to study individually. It is very important to properly explain to the child the need for these activities. In no case can not say: "You do not know how, and we will teach you." No! Say this: “You know, you know how, but you need to train to make it even better.”
Experience shows that over the course of a year and a half of regular classes, such guys “write out”, “deduct” and everything comes back to normal. Very rarely, particularly persistent manifestations of dysgraphia and dyslexia are found, which are very difficult to correct. Then you need to switch the child to other activities: "Yes, you write badly, but you have a lot of other talents." There is nothing wrong with that. Now in the West, children who have problems with writing are allowed to come to classes with a laptop computer. This is a good alternative. In the end, in mathematics lessons, children are allowed to use calculators!
And yet - children definitely need to give positive examples. Many great people suffered the same problems at school. Be sure to tell the child about them!
Everything will be OK"!
Much has already been written about the great dyslexics and dysgraphics. Because of this peculiarity, many talented people were considered fools in childhood. The inventor of the electric bulb Thomas Edison and the famous English physicist Michael Faraday were both dyslexic and dysgraphic. Edison was so illiterate that at 12 he was ... expelled from school.However, even the author of the theory of relativity, Albert Einstein, the greatest physicist who turned humanity's notions about the structure of the universe, was also considered an impassable jerk in the school. And all for the same reason - he read and wrote badly ...
The great actress Marilyn Monroe confused similar-sounding letters; apparently, she had difficulty with phonemic hearing. Brilliant modern actor Tom Cruise confuses letters, similar in shape, and in childhood, some of them wrote in a mirror image. The “Matrix” star Keanu Reeves didn’t really learn to read. Nor can King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustav read. Therefore, he never looks at the "cheat sheet", uttering his speeches.
But if you think that only good engineers, scientists, actors or ... kings can come out of dyslexics and dysgraphs, but they will never write, then you are deeply mistaken! When the great storyteller Hans Christian Andersen sent his first manuscripts to the publishing houses, he was returned to them because of ... the author's hideous handwriting and a monstrous amount of grammatical errors. One of the editors even accompanied the manuscript with the annotation "This is a mockery of the Danish language!" Did not know how to write in the childhood and the queen of the detective Agatha Christie.Because of this, she did not even study in a regular school, but worked with teachers at home. She was not able to get rid of illiteracy, and her brilliant detective editors had to sweat.
Well, the idiom of "okay" we owe to another famous discography - US President Lindon Johnson. Visiting the documents, he put the letters “OK” on them - everything was correct: he could not remember that the words “All correct” begin not with “oy, kei”, but with “hey, si”.