Spotlight on Dyslexia
For National Dyslexia Awareness Month I thought I would take the time to highlight a success story. Patricia Polacco is a well known children’s literature author who was not able to read until the age of 14 due to her dyslexia! Can you imagine that someone who struggled so intensely with reading grew up to become successful in the world of literature? She is truly a wonderful example for children that dyslexia in and of itself does not predetermine one’s path in life.
Ms. Polacco wrote Thank you, Mr. Falker, a children’s book about her struggle with dyslexia. I often recommend this book as an adjunct tool for parents when helping their child to understand his/her dyslexia for the first time.
It is almost unimaginable to me that a child could go undiagnosed until the age of 14. Sadly however, this is an all too common story. Many parents who suspect their child may have dyslexia and relay these worries or concerns are often told that they are “worrying for nothing” or are setting their expectations too high. As a neuropsychologist who has evaluated and diagnosed many children with dyslexia, I have to say, more often than not, the parents’ first instinct was correct. Early intervention is the best intervention. If you suspect your child is dyslexic, don’t hesitate to call my office for a free phone consultation to determine if testing for dyslexia is appropriate. Click here to read about some common dyslexia signs and symptoms.
Here are some quick facts about dyslexia:
Those with dyslexia often have average to above average IQ’s
Intervention (such as Orton-Gillingham tutoring) can help! Although dyslexia does not “go away,” with the appropriate intervention improvement can be seen.
Dyslexia does not mean that college and/or a successful career is not attainable. There are many tools to help accommodate the environment so that goals and dreams can be reached! Some of these accommodations may include audio books, dictation devices, access to teachers’ notes, and extended time on entrance exams.
Frequently seen symptoms in dyslexia:
• Difficulty learning to speak
• Trouble learning letters and their sounds
• Difficulty organizing written and spoken language
• Trouble memorizing number facts
• Difficulty reading quickly enough to comprehend
• Trouble persisting with and comprehending longer reading assignments
• Difficulty spelling
• Trouble learning a foreign language
• Difficulty correctly doing math operations
If you or a loved one is experiencing difficulties with the reading process and you suspect dyslexia, testing through a neuropsychological evaluation can help to discern this. A correct diagnosis can open the path to success and often help to ameliorate potential problems such low self-esteem, school refusal and failure, and associated depression and anxiety.
The impact of reading versus games on learning:
Parents frequently ask me my thoughts about the effects of video games on children. Many parents of children with learning differences also frequently ask me about allowing their children some intermittent “rest” time during homework. In my quest for the latest research, I stumbled across this article. It summarizes recent research which suggests that resting can be enriching to learning. In addition, “gaming,” even when purported to enhance learning, does not in fact impact the learning process, while reading is strongly correlated with enhanced learning. Nevertheless, gaming in moderation is not thought to negatively impact the learning process. Simply put, gaming and reading are just two separate processes and it seems there can be room for both. But don’t assume just because a game is marketed as a learning device that it will actually impact the learning process. Appropriate gaming can be a good recreational outlet for kids in limited amounts, but remember it is just that – gaming. And don’t forget to set aside plenty of time for reading. If your child is resistant to reading, read to or with them or consider audio books.
Taylor & Francis. (2014, October 6). Gaming vs. reading: Do they benefit teenagers with cognition or school performance?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 7, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141006094456.htm
- Alain Lieury, Sonia Lorant, Bruno Trosseille, Françoise Champault, Ronan Vourc’h. Video games vs. reading and school/cognitive performances: a study on 27000 middle school teenagers.Educational Psychology, 2014; 1 DOI: 10.1080/01443410.2014.923556