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Dyslexia is a life-term disability which can affect both children and adults. Studies show that dyslexic children face many difficulties in their educational interactions and social surroundings. Also, they suffer from frustrations and low self-esteem because of the lack of achievements, particularly in academics, which may affect their long-term life opportunities. Parents" awareness about dyslexia and its impact on their children is imperative in ensuring sustainable development of the children. Thus, parents need to be made aware of their children conditions as early as possible so that appropriate intervention could be taken, for the wellbeing of both parties. In this paper, we examined the awareness level of parents with dyslexic children, in Malaysian context. The results indicate the need to promote parents awareness and to provide a support system in dealing with children with dyslexia.
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Journal of Education and Human Development
June 2018, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 91-99
ISSN: 2334-296X (Print), 2334-2978 (Online)
Copyright © The Author(s). All Rights Reserved.
Published by American Research Institute for Policy Development
DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v7n2a12
URL: https://doi.org/10.15640/jehd.v7n2a12
Dyslexic Children: The Need for Parents Awareness
Athira Amira Abd Rauf1, Maizatul Akmar Ismail1, Vimala Balakrishnan1 & Khalid Haruna1,2
Abstract
Dyslexia is a life-term disability which can affect both children and adults. Studies show that dyslexic children
face many difficulties in their educational interactions and social surroundings. Also, they suffer from
frustrations and low self-esteem because of the lack of achievements, particularly in academics, which may
affect their long-term life opportunities. Parents‟ awareness about dyslexia and its impact on their children is
imperative in ensuring sustainable development of the children. Thus, parents need to be made aware of their
children conditions as early as possible so that appropriate intervention could be taken, for the wellbeing of
both parties. In this paper, we examined the awareness level of parents with dyslexic children, in Malaysian
context. The results indicate the need to promote parents awareness and to provide a support system in
dealing with children with dyslexia.
Keywords: Dyslexia, Parents Awareness, Dyslexic Children, Supportive Model
1. Introduction
Dyslexia referred to as a hidden disability, which does not have physically visible signs that can be detected
(Soriano-Ferrer & Echegaray-Bengoa, 2014). Its symptoms can be found in both children and adults, but it is more
likely to be detected in the childhood (Leekam, Nieto, Libby, Wing, & Gould, 2007) because they are less likely to
hide their difficulties and differences. The most common symptoms for a dyslexic child are the difficulties in learning,
speaking, as well as difficulties with phonological processing like the manipulation of sounds and spellings. In
addition, a dyslexic child may experience poor performance in phonological memory and vocabulary which will result
in poor social skills and short concentration span (Campbell & Butterworth, 1985). Therefore, most dyslexic children
are facing with many difficulties in their educational interactions and social surroundings (Dyson, 1997). These
children may have demonstrated an exceptional intuition, high visualisation potential, originality, creativity and a
strong global comprehension ability and initiative could the disability be identified and treated from the early stages.
Most of the Malaysian young adults that had dyslexia during their childhood managed to overcome their
difficulties(Hazawawi & Hisham, 2014a). However, their childhood was filled with shame and discriminations. Also,
they were usually misunderstood as lazy and disobedience due to their difficulties in word recognition and poor
spelling ability (Hazawawi & Hisham, 2014b).
While there exist awareness campaign for the dyslexic children in Malaysia (Hazawawi & Hisham, 2014a), the
awareness regarding its impacts on young adults is insufficient. Additionally, most parents do not have sufficient
knowledge of dyslexia and its symptoms.
This leads to the difficulties of the dyslexic children of not receiving specialised treatments such as attending
extra classes provided by special educators, thus hindering them from having an equal opportunity for a good quality
of education. Therefore, the sooner the dyslexic children are identified and diagnosed, the higher the chances of
getting a proper treatment, such as a proper learning education(J. Hamid, 2012).
1 Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, University of Malaya, Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia. *Corresponding Author Email: maizatul@um.edu.my, Phone number: +60379676375
2 Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, Bayero University, Kano,
Nigeria
92 Journal of Education and Human Development, Vol. 7, No. 2, June 2018
Another critical concern is that most clinics and private centres do not provide rehabilitation services to
dyslexic children (Tan, 2016), apart from the limited number of the government health centres to support large
number of Malaysia growing population. In this paper, we examined the awareness level of Malaysian parents with
dyslexic children. The remaining sections of this paper are organised as follows. A detailed description of dyslexia and
the impact of parent awareness is presented in section 2. Section 3 provides descriptions and comparisons between
some existing systems for identifying and diagnosing dyslexic children. A brief conclusion and suggested future work
are then presented in section 4.
2. Dyslexia and Parent Awareness
2.1 Definition of Dyslexia
The term „Dyslexia‟ was first coined by Berlin, a German doctor in 1887 (Hazawawi & Hisham, 2014a), to
describe word blindness that came from two Greek words „Dys‟ defined as difficulty and „Lexia‟ defined as words
(Alexander-Passe, 2015).
Dyslexia is a reading and learning disability caused as a result of a defect in the brain processing of graphic
symbols, which alters the way brain processes written materials. It is associated with the aberrant structure and
function of the left hemisphere brain that is involved in the reading and language networks (Peterson & Pennington,
2015). Children with this disability usually have difficulties in word recognition, spelling, decoding and reading
comprehension (Vellutino, Fletcher, Snowling, & Scanlon, 2004).
Furthermore, according to (NergårdNilssen & Hulme, 2014), dyslexia is a neurological and often genetic
condition that is passed from parents to their children and can also be caused by non-linguistic factors such as
deficiency of cognitive resources that can block the cognitive process from reaching a maximum level and causing
comprehension difficulties (Kornev & Balčiūnienė, 2014).
Differently, Alias & Dahlan (2015) considered dyslexia to be a subtype of Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
that is characterised by difficulties in recognising words accurately, spelling, reading, writings and decoding abilities,
which affects both children and adults (Skiada, Soroniati, Gardeli, & Zissis, 2014).
Meanwhile, the Malaysia National Dyslexia programme panel defined „Dyslexia‟ or „Disleksia‟ in Bahasa
Malaysia as children who have a general level of performance like other children but with significant difficulties in
word reading and spelling. According to the Malaysia Ministry of Education, about 290,000 students had Specific
Learning Disabilities (SLD) in the year 2001,and the number is still increasing (Yazid & Yin, 2015).
2.2 Characteristics of Dyslexic Children
According to Subramaniam (2008), some of the common traits found in most of the dyslexic children are the
difficulties in spelling, reading, writing, doing a simple calculation, and in differentiating words in reverse such as was-
saw or on-no. Children with dyslexia tend to read quietly and have poor handwriting (Tops, Callens, Van
Cauwenberghe, Adriaens, & Brysbaert, 2013). Other symptoms include; difficulties in learning, speaking disabilities
(Peterson & Pennington, 2015), difficulties with phonological processing like the manipulation of sounds and
spellings (Skiada et al., 2014), reduced performance in phonological memory and vocabulary (Moll et al., 2016).
Furthermore, children with dyslexia are characterised by difficulties in visual object recognition and vision
problem with light and concentration (Salih, Abdul-Kahar, Zahari, Khalid, & Rahim, 2015). In addition, dyslexic
children may experience mathematical difficulties such as sequencing and directional confusion, and the inability to
perform mental calculations (Chinn & Ashcroft, 2006). These difficulties usually made dyslexic children to have poor
social skills and short concentration span (Parhiala et al., 2015), which resulted in difficulties in their educational
interactions and social surroundings. Moreover, dyslexic children can suffer from frustrations and low self-esteem
because of the lack of achievements, particularly in academics (S. S. A. Hamid, Admodisastro, & Ghani, 2015), and
which may affect their long-term life opportunities (Hazawawi & Hisham, 2014a).
The reason why dyslexic children have difficulties in word recognition, poor spelling and decoding abilities is
as a result of deficits in the phonological component of language that is connected to the cognitive abilities (Soriano-
Ferrer & Echegaray-Bengoa, 2014). The writing difficulties are a result of high neural activities that are found on the
right brain hemisphere compared to the left-brain hemisphere, which suggests the neurobiological compensation
pathway in the right brain hemisphere during reading and writing (Mohamad et al., 2015).
Khalid Haruna et al. 93
2.3 Types of Dyslexia
According to Alsobhi, Khan, & Rahanu (2015), there are three different types of dyslexia, namely; visio-
spatial, speech sound, and central or surface dyslexia. Each individual may experience unique difficulties regarding
literacy, numeracy, and memory (Baker, 2006).
a. Visio-spatial: Dyslexic children that are visio-spatial are more likely to understand the ideas through their feelings
and mental images compared to sounds or words(Yeo, 2008).This is due to the fact that children with this type of
dyslexia find it hard to develop an adequate understanding of words and symbols, making the standard
educational settings a disadvantage to them. This set of children prefer sensory over auditory learning experiences.
Hence the majority of the assistive technologies aim to aid this type of dyslexic children with an emphasis on
translating visual messages into sensory experiences such as text-to-speech readers.
b. Speech-sound: Children with speech-sound dyslexia tend to stutter in a stressful situation and may
mispronounce multi-syllable words when speaking (Moreland, 2015). Therefore, they usually avoid any task that
involves explaining or discussing a topic. These children tend to work more efficiently in isolation or one-to-one
setting (Alsobhi et al., 2015). Speech-sound dyslexia is also called peripheral or letter position dyslexia (Whitney &
Cornelissen, 2005). According to Friedmann & Coltheart (2016), children with peripheral or letter position
dyslexia can identify letters correctly but unable to encode the order of the letters within the word. Its primary
symptom is the migrations of letters within words(Kohnen, Nickels, Castles, Friedmann, & McArthur, 2012), for
examples, words like „cloud‟ may be mispronounced as „could‟ and „dairy‟ may be mispronounced as „diary‟.
Another difficulty faced by children with this kind of dyslexia is the omission of double letters(Selikowitz, 2012).
For examples, they may pronounce „drivers‟ as „divers‟ and „baby‟ as „bay‟.
c. Central or surface: Central dyslexia is a reading difficulty that occurs in stages of the lexical and sublexical routes.
Surface dyslexia is a part of central dyslexia, and children with surface dyslexia usually read aloud through
grapheme-to-phoneme conversations (Fawcett & Nicolson, 2017). These difficulties can cause several problems
in reading such as regularisation errors in reading aloud like reading irregular words such as „stomach‟ or „comb‟
that have silent letters.
2.4 Parents Challenges and Treatments
Dyslexia is a life-long disability, and its symptoms vary from person to person, and can also vary at a different
stage in a person‟s life, but with appropriate intervention, it can produce a significant result (Skiada et al., 2014). The
most important treatment for dyslexic children is the parents‟ awareness about dyslexia and its impact on their
children (Elbro & Petersen, 2004). Previous studies show that parents who are unaware of dyslexia often show
negative feelings such as frustration, denial, and stress when their children do not meet their expectations (Ozonoff,
Dawson, & McPartland, 2002). Furthermore, these parents tend to experience anxiety and low self-esteem regarding
their children future life and academic performance. These behaviours do not only affect the children, but it also gives
a negative impact on the parents‟ life; for instance, excessive fatigue, lack of sleep and stress. Thus, parents need to be
made aware of their children conditions as early as possible so that appropriate intervention could be taken, for the
wellbeing of both parties. According to Alias & Dahlan (2015), parents that are aware of dyslexia experience two
significant challenges in raising a dyslexic child, namely; „Difficult yet enduring‟ and „Self-perseverance‟. Each of the
challenges consists of sub-challenges that parents usually faced in dealing with dyslexic children. Table 1 shows the
category of the different challenges faced by the parents in raising dyslexic children.
Table 1: Category of the different challenges faced by the parents in raising dyslexic children
Superordinate Themes
Subthemes
“Difficult yet enduring.
Time constraints
Lack of knowledge
Increased financial demand
School issues
“Self-perseverance”
Negative feeling towards child‟s condition
High demand in the role as a mother
Changes in life pattern
94 Journal of Education and Human Development, Vol. 7, No. 2, June 2018
The most important thing to parents with dyslexic children is to give their child sufficient time while
exercising patience in teaching them because they require more time and assistance. There is also need to send them
for extra classes provided by special educators to learn more efficiently. Furthermore, the parents need to keep
supporting and encouraging their children rather than scolding or pushing them, considering their nature in giving up,
getting frustrated and becoming bored more easily. On the other hand, the process of teaching this type of children
should include visual and storytelling aids to help in improving their studying abilities, as well as improving their
attention spans (Yazid & Yin, 2015).
2.5 Effect of Social Media on Parents’ Awareness
According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary3, social media is a form of electronic communication via an
online community to share information, ideas, personal messages and other contents ("Merriam-Webster," 2004).
Thus, social media is a great platform that can be used to increase parents‟ awareness regarding dyslexia. This can be
achieved by getting a deeper understanding of the disabilities based on the shared information by those who have
dyslexic children (Paquette, 2013).
Additionally, social media can improve reach and promote organisational campaigns and activities (Schein,
Wilson, & Keelan, 2011). For instance, Nebraska Governor has proclaimed the month of October to be a dyslexia
awareness month (Sanford, 2006). This proclamation aimed to encourage people to learn more about dyslexia, offer
support to those affected by the disorder and recognise the efforts of the community(O‟Neal, 2007).
Moreover, social media has become a tool for connecting health organisations with the public(Hawn, 2009).
It helps the public to identify the health professionals and seek advice from other people on how to treat the disorder.
In addition, social media connects health community with younger people, ethnic minorities, and lower
socioeconomic groups by providing valuable social and emotional supports (Anand, Gupta, & Kwatra, 2013).
Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and blog sites increase the awareness of the public or parents
regarding the disorder by widening the access to tailored resources that may not be readily accessible via the
traditional methods(Moorhead et al., 2013). Parents can also widen their access to information from various
population groups regardless of age, education, race or ethnicity for a peer-to-peer discussion regarding methods and
appropriate treatments (Anand et al., 2013).
3. Existing Support Systems
3.1 Web-based Screening System (e-ISD)
According to Malaysian Ministry of Education, Malaysian dyslexic children are diagnosed using two methods;
a screening test and a checklist to identify the potential disabilities based on the children‟s weaknesses in academic
achievements. Other methods include intelligence test (IQ), reading test and screening test. In 2004, the Special
Education Department (SED) introduced Dyslexia Instrument Checklist which is a tool for screening dyslexic
children. Unfortunately, the method is time-consuming and prone to errors (J. Hamid, 2012). This is because the
results of the screening test are calculated manually which has a high risk of human errors. Therefore, a web-based
screening system (e-ISD) for dyslexia has been proposed to replace the manual-based process with the primary aim of
screening and identifying children with the potential dyslexia problem. According to Hamid (2012), the system is
designed with the principles of decision support system (DSS), Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) model and
Human-Computer Interface model based on Abowd and Beale Interaction model, which helps in managing the
decision-making process. Figure 1 shows the e-ISD system conceptual framework.
3https://www.merriam-webster.com/
Khalid Haruna et al. 95
Figure 1: e-ISD System Conceptual Framework.
The AHP model helps the system in ranking and prioritising the decisions suitable for the children based on
their distinct criteria. The system uses both DSS and AHP approaches to screen the dyslexic children based on three
main criteria for computing the probability of having dyslexia. Also, the system incorporates Human-Computer
Interaction (HCI) based on Abowd and Beale interaction model that consists of four essential components which are
a user, input, system, and output as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Abowd and Beale's Interaction model for e-ISD System
The main advantage of the e-ISD system is it is realistic. The e-ISD system automatically generates the
probability of the children with dyslexia, and accurately document the results into a computerised system, and secure
the data in a digital format (Hamid, 2012). Unfortunately, the e-ISD system is still under research, and the system is
still in its prototype version. Moreover, the system can only diagnoses the children by using only a single factor which
is the academic weakness (Hamid, 2012) and does not include some important factors such as the child‟s
concentration, environmental factors or background factors into its calculation which could affect the test
performances.
3.2 Perceptron Based Learning Disability Detector (PLEDDOR)
Learning disabilities (LD) are divided into three types which are reading disabilities called dyslexia (Vellutino et
al., 2004), writing disabilities called dysgraphia(Richards et al., 2015), and disabilities to do basic mathematics called
dyscalculia (Shalev, 2004). Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is considered to be a suitable model for diagnosing
learning disabilities (Amato et al., 2013), and which has been used by (Jain, Manghirmalani, Dongardive, & Abraham,
2009) to introduce a system called Perceptron based Learning Disability Detector (PLEDDOR). The system consists
of two layers; input and output, in which the output is in binary, and outputs „1‟ if the child is normal and „0‟
otherwise. Figure 3 shows the general model of PLEDDOR.
96 Journal of Education and Human Development, Vol. 7, No. 2, June 2018
Figure 3:PLEDDOR General Model
According to(Jain et al., 2009), the most important part of the PLEDDOR is the factor that identified the
LD. The system is categorised into three sections; essay, comprehension and spelling test for dysgraphia; reading and
perception test for dyslexia; and basic computations, time and word problems tests for dyscalculia as shown in Figure
4.
Figure 4: PLEDDOR Tests
ThePLEDDOR method is simple, straightforward and easy to duplicate, but provide a general result such as
“Normal” or “Learning Disability” rather than showing a more detailed type of LDs.
3.3 Lucid Adult Dyslexia Screening (LADS)
Lucid Adult Dyslexia Screening (LADS) is a computerised test designed based on the core cognitive deficits
that are more sensitive to dyslexia (Singleton & Horne, 2002). It comprises three assessment modules; word recognition
that involves recognition of real words from non-word, word construction that encodes non-words from syllables, and
working memory and reasoning as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5: LADS three basic cognitive tests
Both the word recognition and word construction use the Computerized Adaptive Sequential Testing (CAST)
technique. This technique uses a fractionation algorithm that assigns a person to a specific category based on his/her
performance, as shown in Figure 6 (Singleton & Horne, 2002).
Khalid Haruna et al. 97
Figure 6: Fractionation algorithm indicator
The higher the score of the CAST, the higher the probability of dyslexia. However, before assigning the score
into a specific category, the fractionation algorithm follows specific decision rules which determine whether the
person falls into the specific categories or there is need to increase the level of difficulty before reapplying the decision
rules(Singleton & Horne, 2002). Thus, the individual dyslexia-sensitive tests in LADS have high accuracy to
differentiate between a dyslexic and non-dyslexic person, and is free of gender bias.
3.4 Comparisons and Limitations of the Existing Systems
In this section, we compared the three systems discussed in the previous section. The comparison is based on
the aim, method or technique used in the implementation, factors considered in the calculation and analysis, and the
results produced by each system. Table 2 presents this comparison.
Table 2: The comparison between Web-based Screening System (e-ISD), Perceptron based Learning Disability
Detector (PLEDDOR), and Lucid Adult Dyslexia Screening (LADS)
Perceptron based Learning
Disability Detector
(PLEDDOR)
Lucid Adult Dyslexia
Screening (LADS)
Aim
To diagnose Learning Disabilities
via simple and straightforward
method
A computerised test designed to
screen dyslexic children
Method/
Technique
Artificial neural network (ANN) is
used.
Computerized Adaptive
Sequential Testing (CAST)
technique, and
Fractionation algorithm indicator
are used
Factors
Reading and perception level
Word recognition, word
construction, working memory
and reasoning
Results
Binary data:
1 = Normal child
0 = Has learning disabilities
Composite score that classifies
into two categories:
Not dyslexic
Dyslexic
4. Conclusion and Future Work
Dyslexia is a life-term disability that is genetic and hereditary, and which can affect both children and adults.
The first important intervention for dyslexic children can be done by raising parents‟ awareness about dyslexia and its
impact on their children. Parents need to be made aware of their children conditions as early as possible so that
appropriate intervention could be taken, for the wellbeing of both parties. In this paper, we examined the awareness
level of Malaysian parents with dyslexic children, and the results show the need to promote parents awareness and to
provide a supportive model help them deal with difficult matters concerning the children learning disabilities. Our
next line of research is to propose a supportive model for parents with dyslexic children, in order to improve quality
of life.
Acknowledgement
We warmly thank our colleagues for their valuable support and assistance. This research is supported by UM
Research Grant No. RP059B-17SBS.
98 Journal of Education and Human Development, Vol. 7, No. 2, June 2018
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... In the South African context, the authors have observed that many learners who have reading challenges have not been assessed for dyslexia. Abd Rauf et al. (2018) as well as Silva Do Nascimento, Carneiro Rosal and Manchester De Queiroge (2018) allude to the fact that learners with dyslexia need specialised teachers. ...
... This finding is in line with Knight's (2018) finding that declared that evidence-based teacher training, which informs teachers of the up-to-date research on the biological, cognitive, and behavioural aspects of dyslexia, is essential to combat misconceptions and ensure that teachers have more nuanced and informed understandings of dyslexia. Abd Rauf et al. (2018) have also highlighted the importance of teacher training on dyslexia. They alluded to the fact that learners with dyslexia needed trained teachers as well as a supportive school community teacher training is important for the early diagnosis of learners with dyslexia. ...
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... However, as pointed out by Lopes, Gomes, Oliveira, and Elliott (2020), teachers are seldom involved, although they are the ones closest to see how the child performs and progresses and should hence be the first to observe problems. Likewise, parents are seldom involved, except as acceptors for clinical evaluation and consent authorities for their children to participate in research projects (Abd Rauf, Ismail, Balakrishnan, & Haruna, 2018). ...
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... In terms of social interaction, children with dyslexia lack social skills due to stress or low self-esteem and have problems with adapting themselves to social circumstances (Abd Rauf et al. 2020). Additionally, the incidence of anxiety and depression in children with dyslexia is also higher than in typical children, with more negative behaviours, higher suicide rates and increased antisocial behaviours (Abd Rauf et al. 2018). Muhamad et al. (2016) support that 'teachers enjoy teaching maths to students with dyslexia but find that adequate training, teaching experience, and exposure to multiple teaching strategies are required for success'. ...
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The most recent scientific literature on the treatment of social problems or controversial social questions in the Social Sciences classroom and their inclusion into curricula emphasizes the need to introduce students into large-scale social debates where different points of view exist, different interests are at stake, and where it is desirable that they construct their own opinions in that respect from a critical and reasoned perspective. Work with social problems permits a typology of analysis that includes the relative experience of the past and the expectations for the future in a present that is lived, and to consider the temporal relation on the basis of an analysis of changes and continuities that are observable from a comparative perspective. In the comprehension and interpretation of the historicity of the present and in planning the social future, social problems would have to represent a fundamental curricular tenant that gives relevance to the contemporaneousness of the student. This book aims to answer the following research questions with theoretical and empirical studies: 1. What are the purposes of teaching history and social sciences at today’s schools? 2. What is the place of social thought formation and social problems in learning/teaching in Social Sciences? Prof. Dr. Delfín Ortega-Sánchez Editor
... Moreover, they tend to read slow and have difficulties to copy notes from the board. Besides that, these individuals have diminished self-confidence due to their lack of achievement and tend to drift away into other thoughts [7]. https://www.id-press.eu/mjms/index ...
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BACKGROUND: The condition of dyslexia is a learning disability leading to difficulty in acquiring basic skills of reading, spelling, and writing. It is a disorder with a neurological origin that does not affect the intelligence of a person. It is estimated that between 5% and 10% of the population suffering from dyslexia, but this number can also be as high as 17% because dyslexia may not be recognized and diagnosed in some individuals and because some of them may not disclose that they are diagnosed. In Malaysia, it is estimated that 4% to 8% of children attending school have dyslexia. Dyslexics tend to be more artistic and creative than others.
... D yslexia is a condition that is considered a life-term disability (Rauf, Ismail, Balakrishnan & Haruna, 2018), yet it can be managed if better strategies are put in place. The condition is said to be a specific learning disability impacting reading, spelling and writing (Ahmad, Ali, & Salehuddin, 2018). ...
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The journal publishes conference proceedings. The journal publishes original research by domestic and foreign authors in the field of science and innovation, as well as articles reflecting the application of these original research in the field of education. The management of the journal gives preference to articles on original and relevant topics. Articles on art, philology and humanities are not accepted. However, in 2019 and 2020, the number of articles on the pandemic (COVID 19) was low. There is no special edition. The publishing policy is not mass, but innovative. Our motto: success cannot be accidental. The journal is published entirely in English so that foreign authors can read it.
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The aim of the study is to illuminate the challenges that mothers experience in raising children with dyslexia. A semi-structured interview was conducted with ten mothers of children with dyslexia at the Dyslexia Association Malaysia (DAM) centre. Data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) approach. Two main themes emerged from the interview transcripts, i.e. “difficult yet enduring” and “self-perseverance”. The current study revealed challenges of mothers with dyslexic children, which could be addressed by health professionals. In addition, this study provides insights and a deeper understanding for health professionals to support mothers and families who have children with dyslexia.
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In recent years, e-learning systems have played an increasingly important role in higher education and, in particular, in enhancing learning experiences for individuals who have learning difficulties. However, it appears that many of the people involved in the development and implementation of e-learning tools overlook the needs of dyslexic students. As such, these students lack access to the resources on offer to other students and this leads to a disability divide. In order for educational initiatives to be effective, learning experiences need to be tailored to the individual needs of each student and the materials and tools employed should be aligned with the student's needs, capabilities and learning objectives. The objective of this research was to propose an ontology that will facilitate the development of learning methods and technologies that are aligned with dyslexia types and symptoms. The paper commences with a discussion of domain ontology and examines how learning objectives that take into consideration a student's capabilities and needs can be matched with appropriate assistive technology in order to deliver effective e-learning experiences and educational resources that can be consistently employed. The ontology employed within this study was developed using Ontology Web Language (OWL), an information processing system that allows applications to handle both the content and the presentation of the information available on the web. Two characteristics were employed within this research to describe each resource: dyslexia type and the features of assistive technologies that were deemed to be most appropriate for educational experiences targeted at each dyslexia type.
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Based on comprehensive testing and educational history, children in grades 4–9 (on average 12 years) were diagnosed with dysgraphia (persisting handwriting impairment) or dyslexia (persisting word spelling/reading impairment) or as typical writers and readers (controls). The dysgraphia group (n = 14) and dyslexia group (n = 17) were each compared to the control group (n = 9) and to each other in separate analyses from four seed points shown in a metaanalysis to be related to written word production (left occipital temporal, supramarginal gyrus, precuneus, and inferior frontal gyrus) on four indicators of white matter integrity and fMRI functional connectivity for four tasks (self-guided mind wandering during resting state, writing letter that follows a visually displayed letter in alphabet, writing missing letter to create a correctly spelled real word, and planning for composing after scanning on topic specified by researcher). For those DTI indicators on which the dysgraphic group or dyslexic group differed from control group (fractional anisotropy, relative anisotropy, axial diffusivity but not radial diffusivity), correlations were computed between the DTI parameter and fMRI functional connectivity for the two writing tasks (alphabet and spelling) by seed points. Analyses, controlled for multiple comparisons, showed that (a) the control group exhibited more white matter integrity than either the dysgraphic or dyslexic group; (b) the dysgraphic and dyslexic groups showed more functional connectivity than the control group but differed in patterns of functional connectivity for task and seed point; and (c) dysgraphic and dyslexic groups showed different patterns of significant DTI-fMRI connectivity correlations for specific seed points and written language tasks. Thus, dysgraphia and dyslexia differ in white matter integrity, fMRI functional connectivity, and white matter-gray matter correlations. Of clinical relevance, brain differences were observed in dysgraphia and dyslexia on written language tasks yoked to their defining behavioral impairments in handwriting and/or in word spelling and on the cognitive mind wandering rest condition and composition planning.
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Children with preschool language difficulties are at high risk of literacy problems; however, the nature of the relationship between delayed language development and dyslexia is not understood. Three hundred eight Slovak and Czech children were recruited into three groups: family risk of dyslexia, speech/language difficulties and controls, and were assessed three times from kindergarten until Grade 1. There was a twofold increase in probability of reading problems in each risk group. Precursors of 'dyslexia' included difficulties in oral language and code-related skills (phoneme awareness, letter-knowledge and rapid automatized naming); poor performance in phonological memory and vocabulary was observed in both affected and unaffected high-risk peers. A two-group latent variable path model shows that early language skills predict code-related skills, which in turn predict literacy skills. Findings suggest that dyslexia in Slavic languages has its origins in early language deficits, and children who succumb to reading problems show impaired code-related skills before the onset of formal reading instruction. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Information on unmet health care needs reveal problems that are related to unavailability and inaccessibility of services. The study objectives were to determine the prevalence, and the reasons for unmet service needs among children with disabilities in the state of Penang, Malaysia. Caregivers of children with disabilities aged 0 to 12 years registered with the Penang Social Welfare Department in 2012 answered a self-administered mailed questionnaire. A total of 305 questionnaires were available for analysis (response rate 37.9%). Services that were very much needed and yet highly unmet were dental services (49.6% needed, 59.9% unmet), dietary advice (30.9% needed, 63.3% unmet), speech therapy (56.9% needed, 56.8% unmet), psychology services (25.5% needed, 63.3% unmet), and communication aids (33.0% needed, 79.2% unmet). Access problems were mainly due to logistic issues and caregivers not knowing where to obtain services. Findings from this study can be used to inform strategies for service delivery and advocacy for children with disabilities in Penang, Malaysia. © 2015 APJPH.
Article
The purpose of this study was to create and validate a scale measuring knowledge and beliefs regarding developmental dyslexia. A four-step procedure was followed to achieve this objective. A literature review generated a preliminary pool of 65 items. A group of 12 university teachers of learning disabilities read the items for content and face validity and offered comments. Based on their comments, some items were combined, and confusing items were changed or eliminated, which left a scale of 50 items, with the response options of true (V), false (F) or don't know (NS). Later, each participant, using a description of the scales, placed each item into one of the three subscales. An item was considered part of a subscale if at least 80% of the sample was in agreement. The scale was pilot tested with a group of 89 teachers. Participants took the full 50-item scale. Based on the item-total correlations, fourteen items were deleted from the scale, resulting in the final 36-item scale. Finally, the reliability for the total scale was found to be .76 using Cronbach's alpha. The three subscales within the scale (general information, symptoms /diagnosis, and treatment of dyslexia) all had moderate levels of internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha ranging .64 to .69). The scale was also practical to use. It allowed a gather a great deal of information about knowledge and beliefs about dyslexia in a brief amount of time. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Article
This longitudinal study compares developmental changes in psychosocial functioning during the transition into school of children with and without dyslexia. In addition, it examines the effects of gender and family risk for dyslexia in terms of the associations between dyslexia and psychosocial functioning. Children's psychosocial functioning (social skills, inattention and externalizing and internalizing problems) was evaluated by their parents at ages 4, 6 and 9, and diagnosis for dyslexia was made at age 8 (in grade 2). The findings indicated that children with dyslexia were already rated as having poorer social skills and being more inattentive than were typical readers before their entry into school. Significant interactions of gender and diagnosis of dyslexia emerged for social skills and inattention. The social skills of boys with dyslexia improved after school entry as compared to the level of girls without dyslexia, whereas the social skills of girls with dyslexia did not improve. Boys with dyslexia were rated as showing a high level of inattention both prior to and after school entry, whereas, for girls with dyslexia, inattention ratings increased after school entry, eventually matching the boys' levels. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.