Federal Government has been urged to include dyslexia into our curriculum, adding that 90 per cent of teachers in Nigeria cannot identify dyslexia in a child.
A dyslexia expert, Dr Adrienne Tikolo in Lagos said: ”90 per cent of Nigerian teachers cannot identify a dyslexic child.”
Dr Tikolo said:” Government should include detection of special needs as part of the teacher training curriculum and make it compulsory for schools to conduct regular screening for all pupils.”
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She decried that if a class teachers who supposed to decerned dyslexia in a child, don’t know, how can the child be helped.
Tikolo said: Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that manifests itself in reading, spelling, writing and sometimes incomprehension, organisation and mathematics.
She said that as a result of these deficiencies in learning, many dyslexic children struggle to read, comprehend and follow instructions in school.
Dr Tikolo lamented that such innocent children are often addressed by their teachers as lazy child, stubborn or dullards.
She said but if the teacher could identify the child as dyslexia, he would have sought solutions for the child.
For early detection in Dyslexia management, Tikolo advised that screening should take place before the child turns six to get the most of interventions.
She said: “The first danger is that the person cannot achieve his goal and you have different mental health issues that come with that. Such mental health issues include; depression, anxiety, frustration.”
According to her, there are lots of students that have dropped out of school that had Dyslexia.
”In abroad where they have done research, 60 or more per cent of those in prison are Dyslexic in United States. ”
I know a number of students that have fallen out of university because they have gone that far but cannot go further, and then they fall into drugs,” she said.
Tikolo, however, said if dyslexia is identified early in a child and proper solutions employed, many of such child are often great.
She said: ”Successful professionals like renowned physicist, Albert Einstein; and top-rate actors like Will Smith, Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston are Dyslexic.
”Dyslexic children can be creative as the condition has nothing to do with intelligence. If they are supported, she said they can become successful professionals.”
Tikolo, therefore urged local, state and federal governments to train their teachers on identifying dyslexic children in class so that adequate attention could be given to them before it gets out of hands.
Tikolo said Dyslexia Nigeria was established two years ago to bridge these gaps in dyslexic children.
According to her, for two years, Dyslexia Nigeria has made efforts to increase awareness of the condition in Nigeria. She said the awareness level was so low – rating it a minus five on the scale of 1-10.