The child’s mental health involves the mental functioning and the way a child behaves and responds to some instances of life. Some studies are done by exploring the physiological process and the neurology of a child. I regularly observe the learning attitude of my students to discover any struggling child and to facilitate early intervention if needed. One such case I am listing here in which I found some evident signs of struggling children. Purpose is to help fellow teachers or parents to help them observe their kids and find out if their child is in need or not.
My case study is about a child Victor (random name) who is suspected to have dyslexic syndromes. Victor is a six years old boy who belongs to an ethnic minority group. He is studying in Upper KG. He was born in Hong Kong and is of average intelligence. English is Victor’s second language. Following are the findings related to the case.
General Academic Performance:
Victor has not repeated any class and is a regular student. His Nursery and lower KG teachers complained about his class’ low efficiency and erroneous homework.
- Letter Recognition:
Victor has great difficulty in pronouncing and writing the English alphabets. When he is asked to write out a letter randomly, he usually cannot do it, except with common ones, such as a, c, f, s. He has definite difficulties when writing out “b” or “d” and “p” or “q”. He is reluctant in distinguishing one from another which also affects his spelling accuracy.
- Words / Sentences reading:
Victor has slow reading speed. It is common for him to have long pauses when he reads out several words. When I ask him to read to me some vocabulary during small group learning, he usually cannot say the words. When the class reads the story book in unison, he would try to mock the pronunciation because he cannot follow the lines of printed pages and the reading speed of his classmates.
- Writing speed
He has slow writing speed. For direct copying, his handwriting is not messy, but it often takes her extra one-third time than his classmates to finish the same piece of handwriting exercise because he has to refer to the sample constantly.
- Writing style
He has inconsistent writing style. Capital and small letters are used inconsistently within the words. He is unclear about the relative functions of capital and small letters and their appropriate usage. According to Reid (2005, p.9-10), dyslexic children have inconsistent writing style.
He cannot decipher the patterns of words by relating them to word classes or spelling rules. Therefore, there are many examples of words with bizarre spelling in his homework. He often omits, reverses or adds letters to the words.
He is hesitant to speak and read out sentences which results in poor expressions. He is unable to read out simple sentences after teachers. He would miss out words or make long pauses because he cannot retrieve the pronunciation after teacher’s modeling. This can be due to the slow reading speed and poor information processing ability that dyslexic children have as pointed out by Reid (2005, p.9-10).
- Low self-esteem:
Due to the above difficulties, Victor seldom answers questions in class nor does he take the initiatives to try. He also tends to underestimate himself, so he gives up easily because he thinks that he is unable to get the appointed task done.
After observing his various aspects of learning I felt that he had some evident signs of struggling children and that he suffers from ‘Dyslexia”. We contacted our “school psychologist” who suggested some therapies to the teachers and scheduled Victor for regular therapy sessions with her.
If you find any scuffling child, do stand up for her, try to assist her in the best way possible, take school admin and parents on board. Early intervention benefits a grappling child in a magical way and it can bring an everlasting positive change in her life.
You may read our article “Handling of difficult kids” to to know more about difficult situation of kids.