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Early detection of dyslexia

Synonyms in the broader sense

Characteristics, symptoms, abnormalities, early warning, reading and writing difficulties, LRS, reading disability, reading - spelling - weakness, dyslexia, dyslexia, isolated or circumscribed reading - spelling weakness, learning disability in reading and spelling, reading - spelling disorder, learning difficulties in German, learning difficulties in Reading and spelling, dyslexia.

Definition of early detection

All children who have problems (in the written language area) have a right to support - regardless of whether this is a dyslexia (partial performance disorder with at least average intelligence) or to general school problems, for example in combination with a calculation weakness, ADD or ADHD, a lack of concentration or similar is due.
The possibilities of early recognition of literacy difficulties or even dyslexia are given, but it requires an openness to do so and requires a basic knowledge that makes it possible to interpret the errors and abnormalities.

risk children

In contrast to the mathematical weakness, there are more boys than girls who have reading and spelling problems, according to current research on reading-spelling weaknesses.
The investigations also showed that in most cases this imbalance could be proven even before school started. Thus, it is assumed that there is a close connection between early abnormalities and the later problems in reading and spelling.
Why boys tend to be more likely to suffer from reading and spelling problems, and thus more frequently from dyslexia, has not been conclusively clarified. In addition to genetic dispositions, there are also hormonal differences, as well as the fact of self-fulfilling prophecy: Children who have little self-confidence in their own performance, do not like doing German and may even be afraid of it, often have problems reading and spelling, The same is true of children who are negative towards the school for whatever reason.
Even children with other learning problems, such as an existing lack of concentration, an ADD with or without hyperactivity, but also dyscalculia can also tend to develop problems in the written language area.

Learning prerequisites of the school beginners

Learning requirements at the beginning of school

A child does not come to school as a "blank slate". It had already in the preschool areas many contact with the written language. So it is not surprising that children can show the full range of abilities when entering the school.

There are, among others:

  • the child, who can write down sentences with very few mistakes in his written language development
  • the child who communicates on the spoken language level and
  • the child whose "written" is completely unreadable.

Children go through different stages of written language acquisition, which can take different lengths and persist individually.
There are different models that describe written language development and divide it into stages.

The model according to Gudrun Spitta corresponds in many areas to our observations. They are described in the table below. The age assigned to each level describes approximate values. Variations in both directions are conceivable.
First of all a few comments for a better understanding:

  • Sounds or phonemes are spoken letters / letters,
  • Graphemes are written letters / letters.

If one speaks of a phoneme-graphem assignment, one wants to express that the corresponding character is assigned to a spoken letter or a spoken letter connection.

1st phase:

  • also called pre-communicative phase
  • at the age of about 2 years
  • Children learn by example, adults see, imitate
  • Doodle images arise
  • As a rule, scribbles only consist of lines that are arranged criss-cross.

2nd phase:

  • also called the prephonetic phase
  • At the age of about 3 to 5 years
  • Scribble images, however, the painted characters are similar to some letters
  • Recognize children: adults use letters for specific reasons
  • Later, it becomes clear: adults use letters to communicate with each other

3rd phase:

  • also called a semiphonetic phase
  • at the age of about 3 to 5 years
  • Recognize children: Scripture depicts the language
  • Children make their first attempts at writing
  • As a rule, "word skeletons" are written. This means that children at this level usually do not use vowels (a, e, i, o, u) when writing. One of the reasons for this is that adults "spell" letters rather than read: Be, Ce, De, Eff, Ge, Ha.
  • Example of a word skeleton: Ptr instead of Peter.
  • !!! Use the Lute method and name letters in front of your child after each sound. This facilitates the work in the first school year, in which all letters and connections are introduced after lutes.

4th phase:

  • also called the phonetic phase
  • at the age of about 5 to 7 years
  • Recognize children: sounds are represented by letters.
  • Children write "in the loudspeaker", the way they speak.
  • Example: alalipster Bruda instead of dearest brother, Schteine ‚Äč‚Äčinstead of stones, ...

5th phase:

  • Phase of phonetic transcription with increasing integration of spelling rules
  • approximately in the first or second school year (aged about 6 to 7 years)
  • Recognizing children: I can read and understand what I write, but there are additional rules that you have to adhere to when writing.
  • Overcome: Vata becomes father, but dad becomes paper, too.

6th phase:

  • Phase in which the transition to developed spelling ability is completed.
  • from about 8 years
  • Phonem graphem allocation is certainly mastered
  • First rules, such as: upper and lower case rules are applied
  • Part of speech, word families, endings, and prefixes are used to clarify spelling.
  • Expansion of the basic vocabulary and its increasingly secure mastery.
learning conditions

Children thus come to school in different "spelling stages". To get them all under one roof in the first lesson and to promote each child individually and to keep the motivation high is the task of the initial instruction. The situation is similar with the initial learning situation with regard to the reading abilities.

A child does not have to learn to read and write before enrolling. This learning process usually takes place in school! The following table lists basic requirements that were important for the development of written language and reading and that will also be of great importance for the subsequent stages of development.
These are:

In particular, perception plays a special role in preparing for the reading and writing process. A distinction is made between different language perceptions, which are indispensable for the reading and writing process and in a certain way connect the different areas of perception.
Added to this is the need for a child to concentrate over a period of time. In the first year of school, a child should be able to focus on a task over a period of 15 to 20 minutes. If this is not the case, it does not mean that there is a lack of concentration. It means, however, that the ability to concentrate should be trained.

The many differences and different initial learning situations primarily require a pedagogical transition from kindergarten to primary school. It often turns out that many problems only exist initially and resolve themselves without further intervention. But there are also - and this must not be kept silent - children whose Einschulungsprobleme solidify and real crises - can lead to school phobia -. Symptoms can be: aggression, restlessness, inattention, "unfounded" crying, learning blocks, excessive demands, ...
It is therefore of enormous importance that the transition must be made in such a way that success in the (secondary) school is likely. However, this is not only the sole task of the kindergarten and the school, but also the task of the parents, who significantly influence and support the development and education of the child. Many problems that emerge at school can be identified - even with the right sensitivity and the appropriate diagnostic measures and skills - in the preschool development of the child.

speech perception

As already indicated above, the ability of speech perception is closely linked to general perception. One can even say that without the development of general perception, it would not be possible. However, this also means that perceptual training has a tremendous impact on reading and writing.
Breuer / Weuffen distinguishes between different language perceptions, so-called differentiation abilities, which form the basis for all language, writing and reading skills.
If problems in the areas listed below are not detected early, partial performance problems such as dyslexia or dyscalculia may result, or a reading-spelling discrepancy (LRS) or a calculation weakness may develop.

Differences are:

The ability to differentiate in the ...

... optical - graphomotoric area:

  • Prerequisite for learning to read and write the ability to transform what you hear into writing and writing into verbal
  • It is difficult to rewrite letters, as well as the tracing of simple symbols.
  • Optical confusion of letters that look similar (b / d / q / p), ...: space - position - lability that can "grow out" or, in the worst case, solidifies due to a weakness in the letter - sound - mapping,
  • Guessing words while reading
  • Letter omissions when writing (word skeletons)
  • ...

... phonematic - acoustic range:

  • Prerequisite for success in this area is a good ear.
  • Good skills in this area are the prerequisite for a correct pronunciation. A correct pronunciation allows sound and correct written writing and thus an imprint of the correct spelling.
  • Problems in distinguishing rhyming words (mouse ostrich, ...)
  • Children who do not pronounce certain sounds correctly (g is pronounced d, eg demalt instead of painted) may point out phonematic weaknesses.
  • Problems occur, for example, in children who find it difficult to hear sounds out of words. In the first school year, after the introduction of certain sounds and letters, such sound analysis exercises are carried out. The children should decide where to hear the sound (beginning - middle - end). This looks like this:
    The children are shown different pictures, eg a chair, an elephant and a flower. The children place a cross where they hear the sound they are looking for, eg Where do you hear the "St" in the first picture (chair)? Where do you hear an "e" in the second picture (elephant)? Wow do you hear the "e" in the third picture (flower)?

... kinesthetic - articulatory area:

  • Good skills in this area are the prerequisite for a safe pronunciation, the correct analysis of sounds and the correct pronunciation of sounds and sound connections within a word.
  • A safe pronunciation assumes that the speech motor skills are well-developed and thus a child is able to understand the corresponding oral and tongue movements that are necessary for the pronunciation of sounds.
  • Speech motor skills and fine and gross motor skills are closely linked. Children who have coarse and fine motor problems often also have voice motor problems and vice versa.
  • Checking skills by speaking after words that are difficult to pronounce.
  • Discrepancies in the follow-up are problematic because children often audition the word quietly. If it is spoken incorrectly, it is also written incorrectly.

... melodic - intonatory range:

  • By this is meant: the sound makes the music, in other words: the ability to recognize from the emphasis mood and information "between the lines".
  • The reaction to language is already formed in the womb, ie before the actual acquisition of the language.
  • The spoken as such is not understood. Differences between positive, negative, possibly even between neutral mood.
  • Studies show that about 10% of the first graders have problems with the melodic and rhythmically correct singing of songs.
  • The ability to do so, however, provides the basis for the correct acquisition of language.
  • Making children mistakes in pronounced reading of known words always shows that the word as such has not been comprehended by sense - although it is actually known. The melody differentiation is therefore of great importance for the capture and application of the read text.
  • Melodic differentiation does not necessarily imply a particular musicality of the child.
  • Discerning children often have a shortage here

... rhythmic - structuring area:

  • The rhythmic recitation of language verses in combination with gossip sequences can give a first impression of a child 's melodic - intonatory ability. It turns out that reading-poor children have problems with this.
  • Rhythm does not necessarily have to be combined with a melody.
  • Reading errors, such as exchanging and twisting sound connections or omitting letters, are, among other things, a sign that the rhythmic structure of a word has not been recorded.
  • Studies have shown that children with weaknesses in the rhythmic structuring area usually also have problems in the initial lessons, especially in the first reading lessons and in the writing learning process
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