BLOG 245 DYSLEXIA
Dyslexia is a type of reading disorder that involves difficulty reading, despite level of intelligence. This might include difficulty spelling, writing words, how fast a person can read, and pronouncing words. Most of the time, these troubles will become noticed at school. This can translate into difficulty writing and spelling. There are more than 3 million cases of dyslexia in the US each year.
This disability effects the part of the brain that processes language. There is no cure, but treatment can involve tutoring and special education intervention. Early warning signs, prior to school age, might include late talking, difficulty with nursing rhymes, confusing words, and learning words slowly. Once in school, the disability become more apparent. Reading level ability typically tests well below the expected age. There might be difficulty with pronunciation, problems spelling, and avoiding activities that involve reading. The key is early diagnosis so that the troubleshooting can take place.
There is no direct cause for dyslexia, but there are associated risk factors. These might include family history with this and other learning disabilities, premature or low birth weight, and exposure during pregnancy to drugs, alcohol, or infection.
When left untreated, the person can have problems that continue into adulthood. This might include overall trouble learning. The person feels at a constant disadvantage to their peers. This can lead to social problems. The person might have low self-esteem, anxiety, and feel the need to withdrawal from friends, family, and teachers. Later in life this can affect job selection and schooling.
A doctor will diagnose dyslexia using a number of approaches. These might include vision and hearing testing. There may be a set of educational tests. Psychological testing might be performed. Discussing home life might also take place.
Teachers can use a number of techniques to help. These might include phonics which is understanding word’s sounds and meanings, reading comprehension, working on vocabulary words, and working on phenomes (the sounds of words). Schools in the United States actually have a legal obligation to create an individualized learning plan for students with dyslexia. Parents should become involved and practice reading with the child, reading aloud, and setting an example for reading.
Given the right resources a person can still succeed with dyslexia. Reading may never become easy, but can be improved given the skills and resources to make progress and overall improve quality of life. Reading might feel like a game of catching up for a person with this condition, but catering to other strengths and learning abilities can help a person still excel in life, despite having dyslexia.