The Ultimate Guide to Dyslexia
The Ultimate Guide to Dyslexia
- What is Dyslexia?
- Definition of Dyslexia
- Categories of Dyslexia
- Early detection
- What tests diagnose Dyslexia?
- How can I help my child?
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading.
Due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). Also called reading disability, dyslexia affects areas of the brain that process language.
Dyslexia is actually about information processing. Dyslexic people may have difficulty processing and remembering information they see and hear, which can affect learning and the acquisition of literacy skills. Dyslexia can also impact on other areas such as organisational skills.
Definition of Dyslexia
The BDA has adopted the Rose (2009) definition of dyslexia:Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.
Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.
Dyslexia is underpinned by difficulties in some or all of the following:
- Phonological awareness: the ability to perceive and manipulate sounds in words
- Verbal memory: the ability to store, process and manipulate verbal information
- Verbal processing speed: the ability to retrieve familiar words quickly and accurately
- Visual processing speed: the ability to visually recognise familiar words/symbols/patterns quickly and accurately
- Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities. Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.
Categories of Dyslexia
Experts have created categories to group several common forms together to increase the effectiveness of treatment. Being familiar with the types of dyslexia will allow educators and speech therapists to develop strategies specific to the child’s needs in order to provide the best support and remedial therapy possible.
It deals with difficulties in matching sounds to symbols and breaking down the sounds of language. Individuals with phonological dyslexia struggle to decode or sound out words. It’s believed that phonological dyslexia is the most common type of dyslexia.
Rapid Naming Dyslexia
People who struggle with the ability to rapidly name colors, numbers, and letters when presented with them may have rapid naming dyslexia. This type of dyslexia may be linked to both reading speed and the processing speed for reading. Individuals with rapid naming dyslexia can say the names of the colors, numbers, and letters, but it often takes them much longer to come up with the correct word.
Double Deficit Dyslexia
A person with double deficit dyslexia struggles with two aspects of reading. These two aspects often include naming speed and identifying the sounds in words. This type of dyslexia is a combination of rapid naming and phonological and is not uncommon.
An individual who can sound out new words with ease but fails to recognize familiar words by sight may have surface dyslexia. In this case, experts believe that the brain fails to recognize what a word looks like in order to process the word quickly. This type of dyslexia affects words that need to be memorized because they don’t sound how they are spelled, making it more difficult to sound them out. Other names for surface dyslexia include visual or dyseidetic dyslexia. It’s not uncommon for an individual with dyslexia to also have both phonological and surface dyslexia.
When a child struggles to remember what they saw on a page, they may have visual dyslexia. This type affects the visual processing, making it so that the brain doesn’t get the complete picture of what the eyes see. Visual dyslexia will affect the ability to learn how to spell or form letters because both require the brain to remember the correct letter sequence or shape, impacting the learning process.
Early detection of Dyslexia
If your child experiences any of the following issues, it may be time for a discussion with a speech therapist.
Some of the most common signs of dyslexia are outlined below.
Signs in Pre-School Children (0-4)
- Delayed speech development – Speech problems, such as not being able to pronounce long words correctly and “jumbling” up phrases (for example, “hecilopter” instead of “helicopter”, or “beddy tear” instead of” teddy bear”).
- Problems expressing themselves
- Slow learning of new vocabulary words
- Little understanding or appreciation of rhyming words, such as “the cat sat on the mat” or nursery rhymes.
- Difficulty with, or little interest in, learning letters of the alphabet.
Signs in School Children (5-12)
- Problems learning the names and sounds of letters.
- Spelling that’s unpredictable and inconsistent.
- Putting letters and figures the wrong way round (such as writing”6″ instead of “9” or “b” instead of “d”).
- Confusing the order of letters in words.
- Reading slowly or making errors when reading aloud.
- Visual disturbances when reading (for example, a child maydescribe letters and words as seeming to move around or appear blurred).
- Answering questions well orally, but having difficulty writing the answer down.
- Difficulty carrying out a sequence of directions.
- Struggling to learn sequences, such as days of the week or the alphabet.
- Slow writing speed.
- Poor handwriting.
- Problems copying written language and taking longer than usual to complete written work.
- Poor phonological awareness and word attack skills.
- Problems recognizing the differences between similar sounds or segmenting words.
- Difficulty copying from the board or a book.
- Difficulty with learning reading, writing, and spelling skills
- Difficulty with left and right is common, and often dominance for either hand has not been established
Signs in Teenagers and Adults (13+)
- Poorly organised written work that lacks expression
- Difficulty planning and writing essays, letters or reports.
- Experiences difficulties revising for examinations.
- Trying to avoid reading and writing whenever possible.
- Difficulty taking notes or copying.
- Poor spelling.
- Struggling to remember things such as a PIN or telephone number.
- Struggling to meet deadlines.
There may also be auditory problems experienced
- Commonly, a child may have difficulty remembering or understanding what he hears.
- Recalling sequences of things or more than one command at a time can be difficult.
- Parts of words or parts of whole sentences may be missed, and words can come out sounding funny.
- The wrong word or a similar word may be used instead.
- Children struggling with this problem may know what they want to say but have trouble finding the actual words to express their thoughts.
Children with dyslexia
- Children may become withdrawn and appear to be depressed.
- They may begin to act out, drawing attention away from their learning difficulty.
- Problems with self-esteem can arise, and peer and sibling interactions can become strained.
- These children may lose their interest in school-related activities and appear to be unmotivated or lazy.
The emotional symptoms and signs are just as important as the academic and require equal attention
What tests diagnose dyslexia?
A great source of learning is the ABCmouse on-line learning program for kids. The one great aspect of this program is that the program provides progress reports which can be monitored for improvement in the child’s learning. Below is the link to a free 30 day trial. Hopefully you will not be disappointed. Once you try the product, it would be great to know your child’s or your comments.
Dyslexia Assessments are performed by an educational psychologist or an appropriately qualified specialist dyslexia diagnostian.
Other health problems that could affect their ability to read or write should be investigated . These include for example,
- Vision problems, such as short-sightedness or a squint.
- Hearing problems as the result of a condition such as glue ear.
- Other conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Treatment of Dyslexia
The severity of dyslexia can vary from mild to severe. The sooner dyslexia is treated, the more favorable the outcome. However, it is never too late for people with dyslexia to learn to improve their language skills.
How can I help my child?
- Read to Your Child: This will improve their vocabulary and listening skills, and will also encourage their interest in books.
- Share Reading: Both read some of the book and then discuss what’s happening, or what might happen.
- Overlearning: You may get bored of reading your child’s favourite book over and over, but repetition will reinforce their understanding and means they’ll become familiar with the text.
- Silent Reading: Children also need the chance to read alone to encourage their independence and fluency.
- Make Reading Fun: Reading should be a pleasure, not a chore. Use books about subjects your child is interested in, and make sure that reading takes place in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Parents also play a significant role in improving their child’s confidence
How can Nishara Mooruth assist?
Nishara Mooruth IS A DYSLEXIA DIAGNOSTICIAN WITH THE STARK GRIFFIN DYSLEXIA ACADEMCY / RED APPLE DYSLEXIA ASSOCIATION and provides extensive testing to diagnose and treat dyslexia.