What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a language processing disorder that can hinder reading, writing, spelling and sometimes even speaking. Dyslexia is not a sign of poor intelligence. Dyslexia is not the result of impaired vision, nor lack of educational opportunity. Children and adults with dyslexia simply have a neurological disorder that cause their brains to process and interpret information differently.
Dyslexia can affect people differently. This depends, in part, upon the severity of the "learning disability" and the success of alternate learning methods. Some with dyslexia can have trouble with reading and spelling, while others struggle to write, or to tell left from right. Some children show few signs of difficulty with early reading and writing. But later on, they may have trouble with complex language skills, such as grammar, reading comprehension and more in-depth writing.
Signs of Dyslexia
School-age children may demonstrate trouble with:
- Mastering the rules of spelling,
- Remembering facts and numbers,
- Handwriting or with gripping a pencil,
- Learning and understanding new skills; instead, relying heavily on memorization,
- Reading and spelling, such as reversing letters (d,b) or moving letters around (left, felt),
- Following a sequence of directions, and/or
- Trouble with word problems in math.
How is Dyslexia Identified?
Trained professionals can identify dyslexia using a formal evaluation. The evaluation looks at a person's ability to understand and use spoken and written language. It looks at areas of strength and weakness in the skills that are needed for reading. It also takes into account many other factors, including family history, intellect, educational background, social environment, and responsiveness to classroom interventions.
If you suspect your child has a reading and/or writing disorder, please visit with your child's teacher for more information and assistance with available early intervention services. If your child does not adequately response to interventions, a full evaluation for dyslexia may be appropriate.