Dyslexia is a learning disorder distinguished by difficulty in reading owing to trouble in recognizing speech, sound and learning how they relate to letters and words. Also called specific reading disability, dyslexia is a general learning disability in kids.
Dyslexia arises in children with normal vision and aptitude. Dyslexia sometimes goes unidentified for years and is not realised until adulthood.
Dyslexia can be difficult to identify before the child enters school, but some early signs may be an indication. Once in school, the teacher may be able to observe a concern with the child and the condition becomes noticeable as a kid learns to read.
Signs and symptoms of the child being dyslexic can be caught at an early stage. Some of them include
- Delayed speech
- Learning new terms slowly
- Trouble learning rhymes
At school, the teacher observes the child and identifies the condition which becomes more noticeable with
- Reading below the expected level for the child's age
- Difficulty in understanding what he/she hears
- Trouble relating to multiple instructions and sequences
- Issues with similar looking or sounding alphabets and words
- Difficulty in spelling unfamiliar words
Some common symptoms in adults where the condition was not detected during early childhood include:
- Difficulty reading aloud
- Trouble understanding complex expressions
- Lack of ability to manage time
- Difficulty summarizing a story or an incident
- Difficulty memorizing and performing analytical functions
- Writing words backward, such as "God" for "Dog"
- If the child exhibits any or all of the signs mentioned above and has trouble reading
- A family history of dyslexia
There is no particular test for dyslexia. The child's doctor examines and evaluates various factors such as:
- The child's medical history and educational development (reading and writing skills)
- Neurological examinations
- Evaluating the child’s psychological state
Unfortunately, dyslexia is a lifelong condition to be dealt with as there is no particular medication to rectify the brain's anomaly. That said, dyslexia can be identified at an early age and age appropriate treatment can boost the success. Starting treatment for the child at an early age may even prevent reading disability in the first few years of schooling though it may not be that easy. An essential part of treatment as a parent is educating ourselves about the condition and being positive.
Psychological testing will help the child's teachers build an apt education program. This includes techniques involving sound, vision and touch to improvise reading skills. A reading expert will facilitate the child to understand letters and words, comprehend what is being read and improve vocabulary.
In the United States, schools have a legal obligation to take initiatives to encourage children diagnosed with dyslexia and with their learning difficulties. They get extra help in the kindergarten or primary grades to improve their reading abilities so as to succeed in elementary and high school. Is it notable that many kids and adults with dyslexia are extremely creative and bright, can be gifted with arithmetical abilities, science or arts. Some even have a successful stint at creative writing.
Parents play a critical role in determining the success of the child. Steps can be taken to:
- Identify the problem early
- Read aloud to the child and encourage reading
- Work closely with the educator
- Help with time and planning