by: Jessie Mundo
Your child might have dyslexia, but there’s no reason why dyslexia should have your child. Dyslexia is a learning disorder which, according to studies done by the University of Michigan, affects 70%-80% of people with reading difficulties. Although it might be thought best to focus all of your child’s effort to perfecting one language, a dyslexic child has the same capability as anyone without dyslexia to acquire a second language. Dyslexia doesn’t affect intelligence, and recent studies suggest dyslexia might affect one language in bilinguals without affecting the other.
Dyslexia affects specific brain interactions, making the pairing of syllables and sounds confusing. There are treatments such as speech therapy for dyslexics, but some languages provide little to no room for this disorder. In English, for example, words have to be broken into syllables and then phonemes, and then paired with their corresponding sound. Dyslexics struggle at the time of putting whole words together. On the other hand, languages like Japanese have symbols that stand for whole syllables so there’s nothing to be broken down, avoiding wrong pairings. You see, dyslexics don’t have trouble working with wholes, it’s when words and sounds are separated that they begin to struggle.
Every child has potential, it’s up to the parents to ensure they get the best opportunities and exposures necessary to thrive. There is no reason why dyslexics shouldn’t get the same language opportunities as other children. This new study encourages dyslexics to learn languages, like Chinese and Japanese, that work with symbols instead of phonemes. Instead of seeing dyslexia as a disorder that will push your child behind, focus on what he can achieve and how much of a competitive advantage knowing said languages would be.
About the Author:
Jessie is a linguist and creative writer from Puerto Rico, who draws inspiration from her rich and lively Caribbean culture. Suffering wanderlust, she’s always on the move, embracing everything new. And, as a food enthusiast, whenever she’s not working there’s something brewing in her kitchen.
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Dyslexia Help. The Regents of the University of Michigan, 2015. Web. 6 Nov. 2015.