THE STORM AND STRESS OF ADOLESCENTS WITH READING DISABILITIES: IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHERS AND PARENTS
Adolescence is a distinct stage of life that has attracted the attention of researchers globally. In 1904, Hall presented the idea of adolescence as a period of storm and stress. Sequel to this idea, increased empirical data caused this notion to stagger. However, the internalizing and externalizing problem behaviours of adolescence indicate that this idea cannot just be discarded in the light of modern psychology. Stress, which is the physical, mental and emotional human response to a particular stimulus, can arise in adolescents with reading disabilities as a result of hormonal changes of adolescence and the increased demands of school. Stress can actually exacerbate signs of learning disabilities that adolescents were able to manage or mask when they were younger. Some adolescents encounter problems with decoding, fluency and comprehension. Others may exhibit motivational issues, behaviour concerns and self-concept problems that may result in dropping out of school. This present paper therefore recognized and described the storm and stress of adolescents with reading disabilities. Teaching and parental role implications of the present concept were discussed. In the same vein, strategies for fostering reading skills of adolescents with reading disabilities at word recognition level, language comprehension and the use of self-regulatory and executive processes were discussed. Above all, it was emphasized that for adolescents with reading disabilities to become competent readers, teachers should provide a balanced reading instruction by ensuring that instruction is explicit, scaffolded and sequenced. Parents should support, encourage and assist adolescents’ reading development by acting as teachers, showing parental love and care, encouraging uptake of challenges and participating in in-school programmes.
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