Identify and support children with dys disorders

The most well-known of these is dyslexia, a reading difficulty. But dys disorders don’t stop there, there are also dyscalculia (difficulty with arithmetic), dyspraxia (difficulty with gestures) or even dysortography (difficulty with spelling). In short, behind all these terms we find a common denominator: difficulties in learning.

These disorders cannot be cured, but it is possible to take a number of actions that will allow the child, and then the adult, to come to terms with what they must consider a trait of their personality. This topic was the subject of a conference at the last Neuroplanète Congress organized by Le Point in Nice in mid-March.

Support is essential and of course the sooner you start the better. This aims to limit the impact of the disorders on school and social life and avoid the psycho-affective imbalances that some suffer from. Marianne Deletang knows the subject only too well. In fact, she is the mother of a young woman who is now 19 years old and multidys (because people can have multiple disorders at the same time).

She says: “My daughter was born 3 months premature. As she approached 2 years I saw that she did not have the same acquisitions as my oldest. But at first I wasn’t worried. With the entry into the school, things became complicated: she refused cutting, stickers… Here began the obstacle course and re-education to compensate for her difficulties. Despite these pitfalls, Marianne is happy to announce that her daughter is continuing her college education. This mother wanted to get involved in the association: she runs the Fédération Dyspraxique Mais Fantastique to help families affected by Dys.

Recognize the problems

This support is important for professionals. On the one hand because it allows them to exchange ideas with people who live in similar situations, but also because the care is ultimately very multidisciplinary. Jérôme Bianchi, a neuropsychologist from Nice, is aware of the “maze” that families face. “Everything happens at the entrance: if we enter through the right door, we can allow the child to develop, including on a psychological level.”

For this reason, he and his team developed Identidys, a scale for identifying dyslogical disorders (available free online at www.identidys.com). “This is a questionnaire for parents – because they are the first experts on what concerns their child. Depending on their answers, they are referred to a specific disorder. And from there we give them a handbook designed as a compass to increase their expertise on these subjects. Parental guidance somewhat mitigates the effects of the disorders. Please note that this is not a substitute for consulting a specialist but is similar to a pre-diagnostic approach, encouraging you to put things right and directing them to the right professionals without delay.”

Because there is a reality that was particularly emphasized by the participants of the conference: it is often necessary to wait many months before getting an appointment with a specialist in dys diseases, wherever you are in France.

Encourage the child

Among the caregivers that families turn to, we find psychomotor therapists, speech therapists or even occupational therapists like Niçois Sylvain Thamié. “The approach in occupational therapy will first be to identify what is a problem with the activities in order to improve their access. For example, a student with dyslexia will have difficulty understanding a written instruction because of their reading difficulties, then if we give it to them orally, they will understand it better and be able to carry out the necessary exercises. Of course we work around the school, but also everything that concerns daily life. Our goal is to really help the child meet their needs. Environment: So the needs are defined by them and the family.

Marianne Deletang agrees: “It is important that parents encourage the child to have a thorough understanding of their difficulties and needs, as this will allow them to adjust well into adult life and will facilitate their social and professional integration.”

And everyone agrees on one point: Dys disorders are certainly annoying for children in everyday life, but do not prevent them from learning if they want to, as Marianne’s daughter proves. Having Dys disorders doesn’t mean a child is less intelligent than their peers, they just have certain difficulties. Again, this is important to remind him not to continue eroding his self-esteem.

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