Reading therapy for depression

Although it sounds like a contradiction, reading can be a way to help children with dyslexia. It must be remembered that dyslexia, according to the opinion of the majority of experts, is a disorder in the ability to read, a difficulty in phonological processing that is not explained by cognitive impairment or some external factor.

Therapeutic intervention for dyslexia usually relies on exercises to strengthen auditory discrimination, phonemic awareness, and reading comprehension.

However, there is also a psycho-emotional dimension that frequently affects a person with this disorder: lack of confidence, frustration, frustration, anxiety, or low self-esteem. This dimension exists because reading is a central activity in the school environment, and failure to read greatly affects academic performance. Children with dyslexia find it difficult to understand why their efforts are futile and not progressing at the pace of their peers.

dyslexic characters

If we also consider that dyslexia is one of the most common problems among schoolchildren, and that for decades, reading has been used in hospitals and psychoeducational settings, as well as with children and young adults, as a therapeutic tool, it seems relevant. Consider the use of children’s and youth literature as an aid in dyslexia cases.

It is not about ignoring or replacing the usual speech therapy or psychological interventions, it is about bringing children closer to the personalities of children with the same problem, so that they can identify and empathize with them.

This simple use can be applied, for example, by reading aloud, whether by a speech therapist, teachers, psychologists, or family members.

The books of your choice

In the vast ocean of children’s and young people’s work, we find some, either because of their subject matter or because of the presence of a character, who deal with this problem.

Among the comic albums of early readers, there are some in which, although it is hardly alluded to, there is a character that suffers from it:

  1. writing machine (Tom McLaughlin, Coco Books).

  2. The lion who can’t write (Martin Balchait, Loguez Editions).

  3. The key of the prince of the sun (Juan Gonzalez Caballero, Papelo Editorial).

For children aged 7-16, there is a wide range of stories in chapters or novels with stories, almost always with the main narrator, where one of the characters has dyslexia and this fact determines the features that distinguish them:

  1. Fantastic epic Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Rick Riordan, Salamander).

  2. The truth according to Mason Butel (Leslie Connor, Anaya Editorial).

In many stories, dyslexia is dealt with in a school setting, where its consequences are further manifested:

  1. Freak Club (Jordi Sierra e Fabra, SM).

  2. Like a fish in a tree (Linda Mullally Hunt, Ink Cloud). This latest book tells the story of Ali, her frustration at school, the ridicule of her classmates, but the acceptance of many others and her overwhelming desire to excel.

The importance of the message

The common message in these works is that everyone is different and has something special, so it makes no sense to perceive the difference as negative, even if this initially provoked disapproval in others, as in the protagonist. I want to be what I will be (Sylvia Molina, Meeting Point).

People with dyslexia have difficulties that they have to overcome, but in children’s and young people’s literature these obstacles appear in a gentle and non-tragic way, as in Mary Maree Maria (Clara Granara, Editorial Quipu) or in forgotten word (Maria Pineda).

In addition, children with dyslexia also have advantages, since their deficit is compensated for by developing other skills: Standish, in Three faces of the moon (Sally Gardner, Ink Cloud), Able to see what others can’t thanks to his brilliant intuition.

And the protagonist Pedro and the map challenge (Tracy Packiam Alloway, SM) Returns to camp without the need for a map, because it provides dyslexics with amazing mobility.

Overcoming difficulties requires, on the one hand, self-knowledge and acceptance of one’s own limitations, and on the other hand, reliance on teachers or friends to tame the disorder, as in Noah and Dex (Carlos Lecha Joffre, Dest Edition).

The inexhaustible flow of literature will allow affected people to resort to many other paradigms, and the books can be used as a therapeutic treatment to treat other disorders of child development.

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