1. I believe that the child concerning whom I am writing to you has a specific learning disorder (SLD). What are the steps I should take?
- it is best to inform the child’s parents of our suspicion
- the family can be referred to specialists for a complex psychological evaluation that is particularly aimed at identifying SLDs – difficulty with calculation, writing, memorization, and reading. Details on identifying the first signs, the evaluation process and registration can be found at https://eduacces.ro/en/legislation
- providing the child with emotional support so that they can adapt to the class and the group of children at school.
2. What should I actually do in class with a child with SLDs?
You should promote a teaching atmosphere that is suitable for these children, i.e., that provides them with additional support. You can find out more by accessing Ways to Adapt Classroom Activities and Behavior Management
3. What do I do when my classroom includes a child with difficulties? How do I know that these are learning difficulties or typical behavior problems?
We recommend referring the child as soon as possible to evaluation centers, which often provide services specifically for children who have difficulty writing, reading, memorizing, and calculating. The child evaluation route is presented in the infographic for professionals and parents of children with special educational needs (SEN), as well as in the Order 1985/2016, which can be found in the Legislation section of the eduacces.ro platform.
4. How can I guide the parents of a dyslexic child? Aside from speech therapy, what forms of therapy do you recommend?
Kinesiotherapy. Most children prone to dyslexia or dyslexic children have impairments in motor coordination and in the development of balance, body schema disorders, impairments in spatial orientation, as well as undeveloped or cross dominance. Dyslexia can be caused by disorders in the development of movements during early childhood.
Several authors emphasize that the development of movements has a decisive role in the development of the nervous system. Kinesiotherapy helps generate learning abilities by developing and forming elementary movements, forming static and dynamic balance, developing an awareness of the body schema, practicing and forming laterality, and developing spatial and temporal orientation. Kinesiotherapy also contributes to this end through the development of auditory, visual and tactile perception, the development of auditory and visual memory and serial skills, as well as through the development of fine motor skills.
Kinesiotherapy contributes to the harmonious functioning of the nervous system. By starting kinesiotherapy in kindergarten, the child can develop the skills required in the educational process, such as divided attention, concentration, work perseverance, differentiation skills, and logical thinking.
It is very important to include a daily intensive kinesiotherapy program in the therapy of the dyslexic child throughout schooling.
The therapy of dyslexic children is not limited to the development of reading and writing skills or the improvement of weak cognitive skills. These children require psychological counseling, sometimes even psychotherapy.
Throughout schooling, dyslexic children face increasingly severe emotional and personality development disorders. School failure can cause low self-esteem, an inferiority complex, feelings of worthlessness, anxiety, psychosomatic disorders, neurotic disorders or behavioral disorders. These children are often not well integrated in the class group and need ongoing psychological support to cope with their problems more easily.
In individual or group therapeutic activities, it is preferable to have a positive approach and to ensure that the child feels valued and encouraged. The purpose of psychological interventions is to develop a genuine self-image, to find self-acceptance, to boost self-confidence and the motivation to learn, to process frustrations, to increase resilience, to diminish the child’s emotional or behavioral problems, to improve school adaptation, to develop the child’s ability to integrate in groups, and to create a support network of peers and adults around these children.
Several methods are used: structured play, psychodrama for children, experiential psychotherapy, art therapy, the VIT method, cognitive-behavioral therapy, etc. The various activities and programs aimed at integrating dyslexic children into society also have a beneficial effect.
5. I need a bibliography or useful links on dyslexia.
You can access materials adapted to children with SLDs (abbreviation of specific learning disorders, which include dyslexia) at https://eduacces.ro/en/resources?resource_type=all&category=1&activity_type=1&language=en