Are you concerned about your child’s reading ability?
Is your child struggling with decoding basic words?
Difficulty with rhyming?
Struggling with spelling?
A resistant reader?
When you think of dyslexia do you think letter reversals and reading backwards?
Dyslexia is NOT a visual disorder.
Dyslexics see the same as non dyslexics. The difficulty lies in the processing of phonological sounds. Dyslexia is a speech and language disorder rooted in natural neurobiological variation. It is not a sign of more or less intelligence. It has nothing to do with intelligence.
Every child wants to learn to read. It is a major milestone that affects every aspect of a person’s life. Yet for up to every one in five children it is a struggle to learn to read.
Why can some kids just pick up reading with seemingly little to no effort while others struggle day in and day out?
Reading is a man made invention for the human brain. Our brains have natural neurobiological variations. Reading is not a natural human act. Therefore, not everyone’s brain processes textual information the same way. The human brain is divided into two hemispheres and decoding occurs on the left side of the brain for those without dyslexia. Brain scans have found that for those with dyslexia, reading is happening in the right hemisphere. With reading and speech interventions the dyslexic brain can be rewired to utilize the left side of the brain. Children can learn the magic of rewiring their brains to break down words phonologically to decode with fluency and learn the rules of spelling.
What are the early signs of dyslexia?
The signs of dyslexia may be apparent by age 4 or 5. Here are some of the signs:
Difficulty with rhyming. Nursery rhymes and producing rhyming patterns such as: at, cat, fat, mat
Difficulty pronouncing familiar words, multisyllabic words and may drop the middle or endings of words.
Family history of dyslexia or other learning disabilities
K/1st (6/7) Signs in early elementary grades:
Inability or difficulty with rhyming, does not recognize word families, has little to no knowledge of sound/letter correspondence
Difficulty with spelling and deconstructing words
Older children with untreated dyslexia most often avoid reading or complain about it being too hard or too boring in addition to the previously mentioned signs.
Difficulty distinguishing between left and right. Often ambidextrous.
What can you do if you suspect a reading disability?
Begin with a vision and hearing checkup. An audiologist may find other similar presenting issues such as auditory processing disorder as well.
If your child is 8 or older and has had a year or more of reading instruction and not reading fluently then there is often an underlying cause. You can write a letter requesting your child be evaluated for a learning disability at your child’s school. Other options are getting an evaluation done by an educational psychologist, neurologist or speech and language pathologist.
What works for dyslexia?
Children with dyslexia need to be taught discreet language skills using a multi sensory approach. Programs like Great Leaps, Wilson and Orton Gillingham are proven to work and utilize multiple senses when learning. You may find these programs virtually, in public schools, a speech and language pathologist or with a trained specialist. You may also learn to use and implement the program yourself.