Understanding Dyslexia in Children
Dyslexia in children is a learning disorder
that makes it difficult to read, write and spell. It is a neurological problem, not an intellectual disability, where the brain mixes up letters and words. Most children with this disability are very bright, but not being able to read well obviously causes school to be difficult. Approximately 5-17% of the population suffers from this disorder. It often runs in families.
SYMPTOMS of DYSLEXIA in CHILDREN:
Talking later than average, slow to learn new words, and problems with rhyming
Difficulty in following multiple step directions
Problem with reading single words
Problems linking letters with sounds
Confusing small words
Reversing shapes of written letters, like b and d
Writing words backwards.
Difficulty with learning the alphabet
Being confused by opposites
Very poor spelling
Although dyslexia in children may be diagnosed by a medical doctor, because it is a reading disorder, it may first be noticed in school during the primary years. If suspected, a specialist or school psychologist may perform a battery of tests including an assessment of reading abilities, short term memory, sequencing skills, coding skills and an IQ test.
Therapy sessions with a
or tutoring with a
may be recommended.
usually focus on having the child learn to understand how letters are linked to sounds and how sounds make words. The child practices reading aloud and they learn to listen and repeat instructions. Medications are usually not part of the treatment plan.
A child with a reading disability should qualify for
services under the category of specific learning disability. The
individualized education program (IEP)
should outline the services that best meet the needs of the child. Interventions may include sessions with a reading specialist, school psychologist or a speech-language pathologist.
It is possible for a child with dyslexia to also suffer from
other learning disabilities.
If you suspect your child may have additional disorders, you should meet with the school psychologist or
student study team (SST)
to discuss further interventions. The section on
may also be helpful if you are looking for specific strategies on how to strengthen your child's school performance. Or visit this informative site called
to learn ways on how to help your child overcome their disability.