Understanding learning difficulties:
Dyslexia and LRS, dyscalculia, are not unknown terms for parents with children.
Historically, the phenomenon of dyslexia was mentioned in medicine in the 19th century. In addition to medicine, psychology, sociology and pedagogy are concerned with the study of the difficulties that may arise in learning to read, write and calculate.
Accordingly, there are different approaches, ways of looking at things and approaches to how dyslexia or dyscalculia can be tackled. Unfortunately, there is little exchange among the researching sciences, so that those affected often feel overwhelmed and left alone.
Understanding learning difficulties
Stress blocks us. In situations that we experience as stress, our brain partially shuts down. The old responses of flight and attack are now withdrawal or aggressive behavior.
If we experience these situations negatively and repeatedly, they manifest themselves. Motivation and self-confidence decline. Learning difficulties and behavioral blockages arise. This can have many reasons.
From years of practical experience with Evolutionary Pedagogy® we know that many learning difficulties can be countered with targeted movement exercises.
"80% of people who have dyslexia have a visualization problem" (J. Ratey, brain researcher, Stanford University/USA).
Balance and well trained sensory perception
Physical, mental and spiritual balance are closely linked - and visible on the physical level. Balance and thinking are also closely linked.
Neurological studies show that insufficient interconnections in the brain often result in learning difficulties and behavioral blockages. Since mental development is prepared on the physical level, the solution to learning difficulties and behavioral problems very often lies in movement.
"Nothing is in the mind that was not previously in the senses" (John Locke, English philosopher).
The quotation was taken up again and again by pioneering personalities such as Maria Montessori, among others. Research shows that the sensory perception areas of optics, acoustics and spatial perception are responsible for learning to read, write and calculate without difficulty. This can be experienced and learned in a playful way, especially during the preschool years.
Possible signs of dyslexia / dyscalculia
In our educational system, access to letters and numbers is relatively late compared to the Anglo-American world. Possible signs are:
- no interest in symbols
- enjoys reading aloud
- little interest in children's songs and nursery rhymes
- Difficulty in tapping out rhythms
- Orientation problems
- not interested in playing memory
- can poorly understand rows
- 'own' order
- paints over the edge
- high retentiveness, high creativity, high technical understanding
These signs can, but do not have to lead to difficulties in learning our cultural techniques. Only at school age and the regular confrontation with symbols (numbers and letters) a possible dyslexia or dyscalculia can be detected.
Observation in dealing with numbers and letters plays a very important role. Is there a temporary inattention to writing, reading and/or arithmetic and is it difficult to stay on task, even though one can spend hours immersed in other topics? Does increased practice on the errors bring no progress?
Distinguish dyslexia and dyscalculia
Different reasons lead to the problems in reading, writing and arithmetic. Therefore it is necessary to differentiate.
The First Austrian Dyslexia Association is the largest independent dyslexia institution in Austria and differentiates in:
- Primary Dyslexia
- Secondary dyslexia
It should be noted that dyslexia or dyscalculia is a biogenetic predisposition in humans that is present throughout life and can only be overcome through special training. Approximately 15% of humanity is affected by it. (cf. PSED).
The phenomenon of dyslexia has different manifestations and degrees of severity. Primary dyslexia, which has its causes in a biogenetic predisposition and is recognized in time, can be remedied with support in the pedagogical/didactic area so that it can be overcome very well.
Secondary dyslexia is when additional difficulties arise due to an existing primary dyslexia that was not recognized and appropriately supported, requiring medical or psychological intervention.
A reading and spelling disability, on the other hand, is an acquired and usually temporary problem caused by psychological or physical events. This can be solved with increased practice on the symptom.
The pedagogical-didactic approach of the AFS method is a modern and open method that differentiates between dyslexia and dyscalculia. This is important in order to set up the training accordingly. The symptoms of dyslexia or dyscalculia are always individual. That is why group training is not very effective. From the test result, an individual plan is created, which includes three areas: Training of attention, training of function (= sensory perceptions), training of symptomatology.
The AFS method is a pedagogical-didactic approach that assumes that dyslexic/dyscalculic people have a different information processing that is only noticeable when learning to write, read and calculate. The First Austrian Dyslexia Association is an independent and non-profit institution that has been serving dyslexic and dyscalculic people for 25 years. It is thus Austria's largest dyslexia institution.
A very interesting lecture (source: PSEDL) about dyslexia and the distinction to dyslexia gives understanding, about this pedagogical-didactic approach, which is successfully practiced in over 65 countries worldwide.
"A dyslexic person, with good or average intelligence, perceives his environment differently in a differentiated way, his attention decreases when he encounters letters or numbers, because he perceives them differently than non-dyslexic people due to his differentiated partial performance. This results in difficulties in learning reading, writing and arithmetic."
Dr. Astrid Kopp-Duller 1995