Understanding Dyslexia

What is Dyslexia:

Dyslexia is difficulty with the reading process. Dyslexia is not “reading backwards” or a vision problem. Dyslexia is an inefficiency in the reading process that makes decoding and comprehension more difficult, laborious, or time consuming. Dyslexia is not a rare problem and accounts for the majority of learning disabilities.

We do not yet have the cause of dyslexia pinpointed, but there seems to be strong evidence for genetics playing a role. It is likely that if you or your child has dyslexia, so does someone in your family. One common “symptom” of dyslexia is the avoidance of reading or hating to read. In the past, dyslexia was often not diagnosed and instead a child was considered lazy or unmotivated. These patterns may ring true to an older member of your family who has undiagnosed dyslexia.

Common signs of dyslexia:

Preschool years:

  • Language delay
  • Articulation difficulties
  • Difficulty in word retrieval and/or remembering the meaning of words
  • Difficulty with letter-sound association
  • Difficulty rhyming or remembering common songs/nursery rhymes

kindergarten through middle school:

  • recognizing sight words/single words. A child may even learn a sight word one day and not remember it the next.
  • Slow or inconsistent progress in learning letter-sound association and letter blends.
  • Confuse common words such as “at” and “to,” or “does” and “goes.”
  • Frequent reading errors
  • Poor spontaneous spelling. A child may be able to “ace” spelling tests due to good memory but cannot spell those same words weeks later.
  • Difficulty learning how to read analog clocks
  • Difficulty efficiently memorizing math facts.
  • Difficulty remembering other symbol systems such as month-season association, measurement, reading music.

junior high:

  • Reading below grade level.
  • Reading at grade level but poor comprehension and/or slow reading process.
  • Reverse letter sequence such as “soiled” for “solid,” “left” for “felt.”
  • Be slow to learn reading and spelling strategies beyond sight/memory recognition.
  • Weak spelling.
  • Dislike for reading and/or avoids reading aloud.
  • Difficulty with math word problems.
  • Poor handwriting.
  • Avoids writing.
  • Weak recall for facts.

high school:

  • Reads slowly and/or inaccurately.
  • Poor reading comprehension.
  • Continues to display weak spelling.
  • Avoids reading.
  • Has trouble preparing summaries and outlines for classes.
  • Difficulty with note-taking.
  • Takes 2x or more to complete schoolwork as compared to peers.
  • Academic achievement does not meet expectations based on intelligence.

Important to know

Dyslexia is a lifelong condition that affects reading, writing, spelling, and sometimes math and language. Although dyslexia does not “go away,” appropriate intervention can lead to progress and success!

Dyslexia is common and is not a sign of low intelligence.

Multisensory teaching methods, such as Orton-Gillingham, can greatly improve one’s reading skills. There are a number of facilities and individuals who are trained and qualified in this approach, including the RLAC centers.

Early intervention is the best intervention. If you suspect your child has dyslexia, please call today for a free phone consultation to determine if dyslexia testing is warranted.