Dyslexia is a learning disorder characterized by difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and how they relate to letters and words on a page. Dyslexia is a fairly common learning disorder and is diagnosed in about 5 to 10 percent of all school-aged children. As with other learning challenges, early identification can open the door for early intervention, increasing a child’s chances of success in the classroom. Knowing the signs of dyslexia can help parents and educators identify children who need specialized instruction, learning strategies and home-based reinforcement.
Signs of Dyslexia
Dyslexia is considered primarily a reading problem. But because reading touches every school subject in some way, children who struggle with this learning difference might also have difficulty with spelling, writing, reading comprehension and mathematics. Dyslexia is directly connected to words on a page, and the child who has the disorder may not be able to remember or understand what he or she is reading, but have no trouble when a passage is read to him.
Dyslexia manifests itself in slightly different ways for every child. It may be recognized during the early reading years, or remain undiagnosed until upper-elementary school or later. Much of the symptoms of dyslexia depend on the child and how he is able to compensate for the struggle he has on a daily basis. The signs of dyslexia may be mistaken for behavioral issues, an inability to focus or a simple lack of concentration when in fact it is a learning disorder that requires a focused approach.
The learning and attention issue website Understood.org list the following as some additional signs of dyslexia:
Dyslexia in Preschool
- Trouble recognizing two rhyming words
- Struggles with removing the beginning sound from a word
- Has trouble learning new words
- Has difficulty recognizing letters and the sounds they make
Dyslexia in Elementary School
- Has difficulty removing the middle sound from a word or using blended sounds
- Cannot recognize sight words
- Forgets the spelling of many familiar words
- Struggles with word problems in math
Dyslexia in Middle School
- Makes frequent spelling errors
- Must read passages several times for understanding
- Reads at a lower grade level than he or she speaks
Dyslexia in High School
- Skips over small words when reading aloud
- Reads lower than the expected grade level
- Prefers multiple-choice tests over fill-in-the-blank or short answer
- Diagnosis and Treatment
Dyslexia at Home
Along with modified instruction at school, creating a home environment and daily activities that strengthen reading skills can help a student with dyslexia. The following home activities help parent create a home learning environment that encourages reading in fun and unique ways:
- Reading is Everywhere: When children who struggle with dyslexia get home, sometimes the last thing they want to do is read. Encourage additional home reading by providing things that don't feel like reading. Magazines, newspapers, graphic novels, comic books and reading apps for tablets have plenty of pictures and games that keep reading fun and high paced.
- The Joke's on You: Joke books, puns and knock-knock jokes are great ways to make reading fun at home. If a child is making his or her parents laugh by reading short, funny sentences, that is a special reward she will want to experience over and over again.
- Help Me Read: There are many household activities that involve reading, and one of the most fun activities is baking. Getting a reluctant reader into the kitchen reading recipes and creating something everyone can enjoy gives him a sense of accomplishment and reinforces reading as a tool he can use all day, every day.
The most important thing for families to remember is that there is help for dyslexia. Learn more about how Brain Balance Achievement Centers work with children who struggle with reading and learning disorders. Get started today!