What is dyslexia?
"Dys-" means difficulty with. "-Lexia" has to do with words. So, dyslexia is a type of learning disorder Learning Disorders Learning disorders are problems with the brain’s ability to get, remember, or use information. These problems make it hard to focus and do well in school. Children with learning disorders often... read more that causes problems with reading.
People with dyslexia have difficulty connecting letters and words with the sounds they represent.
Children with dyslexia may start talking later than other children
They may have trouble speaking, blending sounds, or recognizing the sounds in words
They may make mistakes or take more time when they spell, write, and read out loud
To tell if your child has dyslexia, school professionals will give your child tests, such as academic and intelligence (IQ) tests
Dyslexia can’t be cured, but teachers will help your child learn to recognize written words
Dyslexia is different from low intelligence (intellectual disability Intellectual Disability Intellectual disability is significantly below average intellectual functioning present from birth or early infancy, causing limitations in the ability to conduct normal activities of daily... read more ). Children with intellectual disability have problems with many different things that require thought. Children with dyslexia typically have trouble only with reading words and letters.
What causes dyslexia?
Doctors don’t know what causes dyslexia, but they know it often runs in families.
What are the symptoms of dyslexia?
Preschool-age children with dyslexia may:
Start talking later than other children their age
Have trouble pronouncing, choosing, and replacing words
Have trouble remembering the names of letters, numbers, colors, and pictures
School-age children with dyslexia may have trouble:
Recognizing the number of sounds in words and putting them in the right order
Dividing words into sounds
Many children with dyslexia confuse letters that look similar, such as b and d, or w and m, or n and h. They may also reverse letters of a word they’re writing, such as writing on instead of no. This isn’t always a sign of dyslexia, as many young children without dyslexia also make these mistakes in early elementary school.
How can I tell if my child has dyslexia?
If your child isn’t getting better at learning words by the middle or end of 1st grade, school professionals should test your child. They’ll look for other problems that might be keeping your child from reading, such as poor vision or hearing, or emotional problems. They usually do:
Speech, language, and hearing tests
Tests of academic skills
How is dyslexia treated?
Dyslexia is treated with special teaching methods. These methods help your child learn to recognize words.
Teachers use multisensory instruction (teaching that includes sight, hearing, movement, and touch activities) to help children:
Connect the letters of the alphabet with the sounds they represent (phonics)
Understand what they’re reading
Process sounds, such as blending sounds to form words, separating words into parts, and locating the sounds in words
Older children with dyslexia may be helped by technology, such as:
Listening to audio books
Using a computer screen reader that reads on-screen text out loud
Taking notes with digital recorders
In the United States the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires public schools to provide free and appropriate education to children with dyslexia. Education must be provided in the least restrictive, most inclusive setting possible—that is, settings in which the child has every opportunity to interact with non-disabled peers and have equal access to community resources.