Original Research

Developmental dyslexia in selected South African schools: Parent perspectives on management

Salome Geertsema, Mia Le Roux, Chemoné van Niekerk, Louise Dyer, Melindie Booyse, Monja Bothma, Talitha Nel
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 12, No 1 | a1136 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v12i1.1136 | © 2022 Salome Geertsema, Mia Le Roux, Chemoné van Niekerk, Louise Dyer, Melindie Booyse, Monja Bothma, Talitha Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 October 2021 | Published: 30 August 2022

About the author(s)

Salome Geertsema, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Mia Le Roux, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Chemoné van Niekerk, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Louise Dyer, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Melindie Booyse, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Monja Bothma, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Talitha Nel, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: South Africa has a dearth of research regarding the management of children with dyslexia (CWD), which could be exacerbated by the apparent lack of parental support. South Africa has a unique educational, linguistic and socio-economic context; thus, more specific investigations were warranted into the perspectives and needs of parents and caregivers of CWD in South Africa.

Aim: To determine the parental perspectives of the management of their CWD in South African schools.

Setting: An online research survey was sent to South African parents with a CWD.

Methods: A descriptive, embedded design, including both qualitative and quantitative aspects, was implemented. The study was cross-sectional in nature. Stratified sampling was used in which the participants were divided into two separate strata.

Results: Results indicated that most parents of CWD had good knowledge regarding dyslexia in South Africa. Most parents with CWD had difficulty with the social stigma surrounding the disorder. Furthermore, parents were aware of their role in their CWD’s education; however, a lack of resources was evident in South Africa leading to poor parental experiences.

Conclusion: There is a lack of resources and access to appropriate services such as multisensory teaching methods and accommodations in South Africa. Parents of CWD therefore did not receive enough support in the management of their child’s dyslexia. Future research should be conducted regarding South African teachers’ knowledge and perspectives regarding dyslexia and the management thereof. It was recommended that professionals trained in the management of dyslexia educate and advocate for CWD and their families.


Keywords

dyslexia; South Africa; schools; management; children; parents; perspectives; experiences

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