Gifted and Dyslexic
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
I have an 8-year old son who is a dyslexic and according to
the evaluation report, he has an IQ of 138.
I have been sending him for remedial classes and he is also
receiving help in his English but yet he fails his English
tests. I was told and informed by quite a few parents to get
help from expert who is able to identify his gifted area and
perhaps send him for the courses that he has more interest
in it and excel better. Would you be able to advise me on
where could I get expert help and advise so that I could
make an early intervention in unlocking his true potential
or discovery of his gifted areas. Looking forward to hear
A: It is such a shame that he
is struggling even with high IQ scores. Generally speaking,
dyslexia affects fluent word recognition and recall,
spelling and word decoding, and secondarily, vocabulary and
reading comprehension. Therefore, it is no surprise that he
is having difficulties in language.
As much as he has high IQ scores, he also has a disability
and needs attention for both. Gifted dyslexics who are
successful are apparently able to compensate for some of
their difficulties through outstanding memory abilities, so
much so that that they could actually meet age norms in
classic dyslexic deficit areas (such as phonology or reading
comprehension). When analyzed deeply, these individuals were
just more adept at using compensatory strategies to overcome
dyslexic challenges - rather than having outstanding memory
abilities per se.
Unfortunately, in the school system such children are given
attention more for their disability rather than strengths.
With focus on their weakness rather than strengths, they are
likely to fall within the cracks and go unidentified - which
is so unfortunate. You need to focus on his strengths and
which will motivate him. A child who is both gifted and
dyslexic often has low self-esteem and poor motivation.
Studies indicate that creative thinking which is essential
for complex problem solving, improves feelings of
self-esteem. Dyslexics learn best with a multi-sensory
delivery of language content. Instruction that is
multi-sensory employs all pathways of learning at the same
time, seeing, hearing, touching, writing, and speaking.
Perhaps, you may want to take note of this.
Additionally, you may want to view the following site on the
Orton-Gillingham Training Courses in Singapore by trainer
Ronald Yoshimoto who has been training teachers and parents
Some helpful books for you:
The Gift of Dyslexia: Why Some of the Smartest People Can't
Read and How They Can Learn
by Ronald D. Davis and Eldon M. Braun
The Pretenders: Gifted People Who Have Difficulty Learning
by Barbara P. Guyer. Ed.D
Hope the above has been helpful. Good luck. And oh, anyway,
I am dyslexic - and only found out some 10 years back!