What is dyslexia?


How to recognize the disorder

It is estimated that between 5 and 15 percent of children have dyslexia. It is a disorder that causes school failure and should be diagnosed in time to treat the child. The child neuropsychologist Paloma Méndez de Miguel helps us understand the problem.

Learning disabilities are responsible for much of school failure. Of these, dyslexia is the most common. It is estimated that between 5 and 15% of children are dyslexic. Recent studies show that while it is somewhat more common in children, there is little difference from girls.

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a disorder manifested by difficulty in learning to read despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence and socio-cultural opportunities. It is not a maturation problem, but a chronic disorder that persists in adult life although its manifestation changes with age. Many known figures from the field of science and culture have suffered, including scientists with Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison, or artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci or Beethoven.

Dyslexia is a neuropsychological disorder that would involve the phonological system of language processing. In fact, many studies have shown that dyslexics have poor performance in phonological awareness tasks. To better understand this concept, we can define phonological awareness as the ability to consciously reflect and manipulate phonological segments of oral language such as syllables, intrasyllabic units and phonemes.

Is dyslexia inherited?

Studies show that the difficulty to read can be inherited, so that, in the case of one parent being dyslexic, the odds of having a dyslexic child over the general population increase by eight. In addition, it is estimated that the probability of recurrence among siblings is 40%.

Symptoms of a possible dyslexia

As in almost all neuropsychological difficulties, early detection helps to alleviate future difficulties. We must anticipate the manifestation of the problem and detect signs that may point to the development of dyslexia. In this way we can put means to try to correct it.
Dyslexia is associated with a number of difficulties that should lead us to consult with a specialist if we observe them in the child.

  • Delay in language acquisition. Until two years, he does not pronounce his first words. At age three he still does not combine words to form phrases.
  • Slow speech development. In this case, the child pronounces his first words at normal age, between 12 and 18 months, but the progression in lexicon and grammar is slower than usual.
  • Problems of pronunciation and / or persistence of dislalias. In the first case, the child talks in an unintelligible way in general. Dyslalia refers to difficulties in pronouncing specific speech phonemes.
  • Difficulties in learning the alphabet.
  • Problems to realize simple rhymes.
  • Difficulty in the denomination of letters.
  • Difficulty in establishing the association between letters and sounds. At the beginning of learning, it is normal for the child to get confused when reading. But if persistent over time, it can be a symptom of dyslexia.
  • Difficulty categorizing sounds.
  • Problems to learn routines such as the days of the week, the name of the colors or the lyrics of the songs.
  • Motor clumsiness (eg difficulty buttoning buttons)
  • Spatial disorientation. Up-down, front-back, inside-out …. are spatial concepts that must be consolidated before the start of the reading.
  • Difficulty in reading pseudopalabras and irregular words. Sometimes our brain goes “faster than the eye” and we read automatically. With pseudopalabras or irregular words (for example, irregular verbs) we can realize if the decoding process is done well. In dyslexia errors are frequently made, both in the reading of pseudopalabras and irregular words.
  • Difficulty in spelling words.
  • Presence of a family history of dyslexia.

Main learning problems in children

learning problems in children

Are better solved with an early diagnosis

Does your child return the Cole reluctantly and with bad grades? Trouble and takes a long time to do the homework? Do not read with fluency when co-workers do? Not finalize lightly that it is vague and little commitment to studies. You may have learning problems that should meet as soon as possible.

Children care and much like their parents. Bringing good marks from school is a strategy that always works. On the other hand, when the teachers’ comments are unfavorable, everyone is upset and the tension at home goes up. Parents often take steps to improve outcomes: more attention to homework, withdrawing some privilege like watching TV or even punishing. If they do not work, it is not worth abandoning and concluding that the child is a bum who is not interested in studies. You may have learning problems that need to be identified and addressed to improve your results.

  1. The child has an intellectual maturity different from his or her chronological age or class level. As our school system is designed, the programs are aimed at an age group and the learning depends very much on the level of maturity of each child. Some children may have a higher than average intellectual maturity level – in the case of gifted children – who get bored in class and do not give up. They should be in a higher class. There are also the reverse cases of children who are not very mature for their age or who were born in the last months of the year. If you have doubts, you can find out the maturity of your child with this test.
    Immaturity affects comprehension but also concentration. Some games like coloring mandalas help improve it. Here you have games to improve the concentration of children.
  2. The child does not know the techniques of study. Knowing how to study greatly improves the effectiveness of work. It is convenient that you teach them as soon as possible and that controls you put them into practice.
  3. The child is dyslexic. Dyslexia is manifested by a series of symptoms and mainly affects the learning of literacy. It is estimated to account for between 5 and 15 percent of school failures. An early diagnosis and the implementation of specific aid are essential to alleviate future difficulties.
  4. The child has pronunciation problems. There are several reasons why a child mispronounces. Some work over time, others require help from a specialist. Although not directly related to school performance, they may make learning spelling difficult.
  5. The child is hyperactive. Hyperactivity is a complex disorder, with many degrees and decreases the child’s ability to pay attention. It is essential that it is diagnosed by a neurologist who will prescribe, if necessary, a treatment.

Is the education of children in crisis?

education of children in crisis

Today it is increasingly common for any adult, called grandparents, teachers, uncles, or people without children, to complain about the bad education of children. No matter the place or the time, simply some children seem to conspire against us and continue to rise. Is the education of children undergoing a crisis?

The tantrums and bad behavior of children in general, coupled with the passivity of their parents, has become a common theme in family talks or meetings with friends, but what changed? At what point did the parents stop educating the children as they educated us? Yes, in those times where a look of your mother was enough for you to stop running like crazy around the room because she was talking to her friends.

When a spanking meant a real threat and not a “I’ll give you ‘pau pau’ if you do not calm down” (and to top it all the ‘pau pau’ never arrives).

If, like me, they suffer from the nerves every time they see a child come in, check out these 5 reasons why, according to a British nanny, the education of children is in crisis, published in the Huffington Post.

1. Fear of our children

I usually do a morning test in which I observe how a father gives breakfast to his son. If the child says, “I want the pink mug, not the blue one!” Although the mother has already put the milk in the blue, I try to observe carefully the reaction of the mother. Most of the time, it becomes pale and poured the contents into the cup that the child prefers before giving him a tantrum. Error! What are you afraid of? Who rules the two? Let it cry if you want, and go from there to not hear the crying. But, please, do not work too hard just to please the child. And, most importantly, think of the lesson you are teaching him if you give him everything he wants just by crying.

2. We have lowered the bar

When children misbehave, whether in public or in private, parents tend to shrug their shoulders like saying, “That’s the way kids are.” I assure you, it does not have to be this way. Children are capable of much more than what parents normally expect of them, in terms of their manners, respect for the elderly, day-to-day tasks, generosity, or self-control. Do you think a child can not sit at dinner in a restaurant? Nothing of that. Do you think a child is not able to remove the table without being asked? Again, it is not so. The only reason they do not behave well is because you have not shown them how to do it and because you do not expect them to do it. It’s that simple. Set the bar higher and your child will know how to behave.

3. We have lost the customs of the people

Previously, bus drivers, teachers, shopkeepers and other parents used to have carte blanche to correct a rude child. They acted as eyes and ears of the mother and father if the children were out of sight, and everyone worked together for a common interest: to properly raise children. The whole town was overturned.

At present, if someone who is not a parent of the child in question thinks of scolding him, the parents do not like it. They want their child to look like the perfect child, and so they do not accept that teachers or other people say otherwise. They will be in a rage and will talk to the teacher rather than their son for having misbehaved in class. They feel the need to project a perfect image to the world and, unfortunately, their insecurity is reinforced because many parents judge each other. If a child starts bawling, all heads will turn to the mother with a reproving look. Instead, it should be backed up, because there is a good chance that the tantrum may have occurred because it did not yield to any of your child’s demands. Rather, these observers should say, “Good work, I know how difficult it is to put limits.”

4. We rely too much on shortcuts

I find it wonderful that parents have all kinds of electronic gadgets to entertain themselves on a flight or in the doctor’s waiting room. It’s also great that we can order our online purchase, and we can heat healthy food to microwave blow. Parents are busier than ever, and I’m totally in favor of taking the easy way whenever necessary. But shortcuts can also be a slippery slope. When you discover how well Caillou entertains the child in a plane, do not be tempted to put the drawings in a restaurant.

Children also have to learn to be patient. They have to learn to be distracted by themselves. They have to learn that not all food is going to be always hot and ready in less than three minutes and, if possible, they also have to learn to help in the kitchen. Babies need to learn to be reassured by themselves; Do not sit on a vibrating chair every time you get picky. Children have to learn to get up when they fall, instead of raising their arms for mom and dad to pick them up. It teaches children that shortcuts can be helpful, but it is very satisfying to do things slowly.

5. Parents put the needs of their children above theirs

Naturally, parents tend to take care of their children first, and this is good for evolution. I defend the idea of ​​creating a schedule that fits the needs of the child, and that the child’s food and clothing is a priority. However, today’s parents have gone too far, subjecting their own needs and mental health to those of their children. More and more often I see moms getting out of bed every two to three to satisfy the boy’s whims. Or dads who leave everything and run the zoo from end to end in a hurry to buy the girl a drink because she is thirsty. It’s okay to not get up in the middle of the night to give your son another glass of water. It’s okay if the zoo’s dad says, “Sure you’re going to drink water, but we’re going to have to wait until we get to the next fountain.” It’s okay to use the word not from time to time, nor is there anything wrong with asking your child to entertain himself for only a few minutes because Mom wants to use the bathroom privately or flip through a magazine.

I fear that if we do not begin to correct, and soon, these five serious mistakes, the children we are raising will grow into arrogant, selfish, impatient, and impolite adults. It will not be his fault, but ours. We have not taught them anything else, we have never expected anything else from them. We never wanted them to feel uncomfortable, and when it is inevitable that they feel any discomfort, they will not be prepared for it. I therefore ask all the parents and caregivers of the world to demand more of the children. Let them expect more from them. Let them share in their struggles. Give them less. Let them be upright and together we prepare them for success in the real world, and not in the protected world we have created for them.

Does your child sleep badly? Find out why

sleep disorders in childhood

The 8 most common sleep disorders in childhood

If sleepless nights happen, even though you’ve proven that your child is not sick, you may have some sleep disorder. We described the main ones.

  • Swings. Head and body movements before falling asleep or during the light sleep phase are common in babies between 9 months and 2 years to fall asleep. Do not worry; Only if the swings are very abrupt must be taken to prevent the child from getting hurt. A good idea is to pad the headboard.
  • Insomnia. Childhood insomnia is the difficulty in maintaining or falling asleep. Dr. Estivill, a well-known specialist in the field, says that in 98 percent of cases, it occurs due to poor sleep habits such as lack of a bedtime; The excess of stimuli when going to bed – television, games … or the unnecessary taking of food at night. However, in other cases, insomnia is due to psychological factors that need to be diagnosed and treated. In these situations, there is an emotional problem that prevents them from sleeping: beginning of daycare, change of school, arrival of a little brother …
  • Somnambulism. Eighty percent of children with somnambulism have a relative with a history and it is estimated that 15 percent of children have experienced an episode of nocturnal walking. It usually occurs between 10 and 14 years and rarely before 5. The child gets up from bed at 3 or 4 hours after having started the dream and moves around the house with awkward movements and with no clear goal. In children with genetic predisposition, it is likely that episodes appear especially in times of stress and in situations of fatigue. If you find your child wandering around the house, remember that he is fast asleep; Do not try to wake him up, take him to his bed without asking him questions. The next morning, you will not remember anything. This disorder is mild and disappears with age but if it occurs frequently, it is advisable to take measures so that the child does not get hurt on their nocturnal walks.
  • Somniloquia. It is the habit of speaking asleep. It is related to states of emotional tension and occurs more frequently in nervous children. It affects one in 10 between 3 and 10 years. It should not worry parents, since it disappears over time. No treatment required.
  • Bruxism. It is the technical name with which the act of grinding of the teeth is known. It is not serious, but if you do not return, it is advisable to consult with a dentist about the possibility of putting a dental bag or other measures to prevent erosion of teeth.
  • Snoring. Frequent and intense snoring is caused, in the vast majority of cases, by obstructive sleep apnea, a disease that causes breathing pauses while sleeping due to airway obstruction. The obstruction can be caused by problems of vegetation or by an excessive size of the tonsils. Always consult a specialist.
  • Nightmares. They are more common between 3 and 6 years. Nightmares occur in the second half of the night. The little boy wakes up in anguish, remembering perfectly what he has dreamed that allows him to reassure him to return to sleep. They may occur in isolation or repeat for a while as they are usually associated with times of restlessness in the child’s life.
  • Night terrors. 96 percent of the children who suffer from them have a relative who has had them. Night terrors usually appear between the ages of two and three: in the first half of the night, the child stands up abruptly, eyes wide and with clear signs of panic. However, he is totally asleep and the next day, he does not remember anything. It is convenient to stay at his side while the calm returns and not worry despite the spectacularity of the episode because the child, nothing bad happens to him.

Many times, what we believe a sleep disorder is not such, but simple nocturnal awakenings, very normal in children under two years. However, it is recommended to consult with the pediatrician if a child under 5 years of age wakes up more than eight times per night, or at least once from this age, if he adopts strange behavior or screams while sleeping.

The best kids sports by age

Are you looking for a sport activity for your child? The first thing is to talk to him slowly and in depth. He has to be the one who decides what sport he wants to practice because it must be fun. You can help him discover the advantages and disadvantages of different options, advise him according to his abilities and his tastes … but, finally, he has to be the one who is satisfied with his choice. It does not matter whether you try several or do a little bit of everything. It is not a matter of creating a sports professional, but of doing physical exercise.

But if you are especially skilled or willing to improve, get in touch with a professional who advises you the most appropriate way to progress for your age, bearing in mind that the sports career requires a great effort both physical and psychological and is not always advisable For a child. And if you move to the competition, never forget that when the sport becomes something whose only goal is victory, it will cease to be fun and lose many of its advantages. Here we point out the main ones according to the sport practiced.

The best kids sports

Sports and the age of the child

  • Martial arts: judo or karate. They favor the coordination of movements. They are progressive activities that are easily adapted to each child, so they can start very early, around four years.
  • Swimming. It is the sport par excellence, improves coordination and endurance and, moreover, it is very advisable to correct postural problems such as scoliosis. Another advantage is that it can be started from baby.
  • Biking. The child will begin to pedal and show a little balance around 3 years and you can go teaching him to ride a bike. By the age of five, he will break free from the wheels, a perfect moment to take to the long walks. Cycling is a great sport to share with family.
  • Tennis or paddle. It provides strength and power, while favoring visomanual coordination. It is a technically demanding sport that can start between 4 and 6 years, depending on the child’s psychomotor development but always in small groups and with a specialized monitor.
  • Team sports. Football, basketball or handball, among others, in addition to working out physical fitness, motor skills and coordination, serve the child to interact and learn to cooperate with the group developing game strategies. They are very advisable for any child, especially for single children or those who do not have siblings of their age. The child will benefit from these sports around 7 years.
  • Ski. In the physical terrain, it improves the balance and strengthens the musculature. In the personal field puts the child in contact with nature and can be practiced as a family. It can be started always with monitor and in group by the 4 years.
  • Canoeing. It requires great physical resistance, so it is suitable for children already accustomed to physical activity, from 10 or 12 years.
  • Rhythmic gymnastics. It is a progressive sport that favors, above all, flexibility, but it must be practiced in a moderate way, since its excess can have undesirable consequences on a body that is still in development. It can start at around 6 years.
  • Skating. Develops balance and coordination of movements. If it is practiced as a sport, it is a demanding activity that requires many hours of training. It can start at around 8 years.
  • Fencing. It develops coordination, balance, speed of response and self-control. It is a very technical sport that requires good form and training. From the age of 8, the child can begin to deal with fencing.

A lot of advantages

What does the practice of sport bring to the child? These are the main benefits:

  • It is good for the physical form: coordination of movements, greater resistance and strength, prevention of obesity, health enhancement …
  • Improves self-esteem: more self-confident and more fighter enhancing his ability to resist frustration and increasing his tenacity to achieve a desired goal. It also helps you to accept your limitations.
  • Help your socialization: teach you to cooperate with the group in pursuit of a common goal.
  • It becomes a hobby, which helps you to fill a large part of your leisure time in a healthy way, which is very important in the face of adolescence to prevent the approach to drugs and drink or simply abuse of practices Sedentary as watching television or playing with the game console.