What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that mainly causes problems with reading, writing, and spelling. It’s a specific learning difficulty, which means it causes problems with certain abilities used for learning, such as reading and writing. Unlike a learning disability, intelligence isn’t affected.
Prognosis for Dyslexia
A key sign of dyslexia is trouble decoding words . This is the ability to match letters to sounds. Kids can also struggle with a more basic skill called phonemic awareness . This is the ability to recognize the sounds in words. Trouble with phonemic awareness can show up as early as preschool.
Some of the signs of dyslexia have to do with emotions and behavior. People with dyslexia might avoid reading, both out loud and to themselves. They may even get anxious or frustrated when reading. This can happen even after they’ve mastered the basics of reading.
Treatments influence prognosis
Dyslexia is treated using specific educational approaches and techniques, and the sooner the intervention begins, the better. Psychological testing will help your child’s teachers develop a suitable teaching program. Treatment focuses on helping your child:
- Learn to recognize and use the smallest sounds that make up words (phonemes)
- Understand that letters and strings of letters represent these sounds and words (phonics)
- Comprehend what he or she is reading
- Read aloud to build reading accuracy, speed and expression (fluency)
- Build a vocabulary of recognized and understood words
1. Early detectiona and early signs
Though most children are ready to learn reading by kindergarten or first grade, children with dyslexia often can’t grasp the basics of reading by that time. Talk with your doctor if your child’s reading level is below what’s expected for his or her age or if you notice other signs of dyslexia. When dyslexia goes undiagnosed and untreated, childhood reading difficulties continue into adulthood.
2. The diagnosis
The only way to know for sure if someone has dyslexia is through a full evaluation, done either at school or privately . Having a diagnosis (schools call it an identification) can lead to supports and services at school, and accommodations at college and work.
There are a few types of professionals who can assess people for dyslexia. These include school psychologists, clinical psychologists, and neuropsychologists . An evaluator will give a series of tests for dyslexia . They’ll test in other areas as well to see exactly where any weaknesses and strengths lie.
School evaluations are free. But private ones can be very expensive. In some cases, there are ways to get them for free or at a low cost. Local universities often have programs in psychology that have clinics where students do their training.
Causes of Dyslexia
People with dyslexia find it difficult to recognise the different sounds that make up words and relate these to letters.
Dyslexia isn’t related to a person’s general level of intelligence. Children and adults of all intellectual abilities can be affected by dyslexia.
The exact cause of dyslexia is unknown, but it often appears to run in families.
It’s thought certain genes inherited from your parents may act together in a way that affects how some parts of the brain develop during early life.
Common co-occurring conditions in Dyslexia
Children who have dyslexia are at increased risk of having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and vice versa. ADHD can cause difficulty sustaining attention as well as hyperactivity and impulsive behavior, which can make dyslexia harder to treat.