Do you know that the most common learning disability is dyslexia?

As a result, many tend to term every language (written and oral) challenge as dyslexia. While their guesses might be right, it is always advisable that the learner be evaluated by a specialist or qualified personnel before the conclusion.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that reduces a person’s ability to read and write.

It is a disability that affects how the brain processes written materials, making it more difficult to read, spell, write and speak.

Dyslexia is a neurological condition and is in no way related to intelligence, instruction, poor teaching or upbringing.

Both children and adults can experience dyslexia. Although people with dyslexia may be intelligent and creative, they still struggle with basic literacy skills.

There are several misconceptions about dyslexia and this can pose a difficulty in getting proper information about it.

Below are some myths.

Dyslexia Myths and Facts.

  • Myth: Dyslexia is a vision problem.
  • Fact:  Visual related problems can make reading difficult, but they are not caused by dyslexia.

Visual perception problems are due to the brain’s inability to process what the eyes see while dyslexia is a problem with processing sounds.

  • Myth: Dyslexia is more common in boys than girls.
  • Fact: Dyslexia isn’t peculiar to a particular gender. It affects both boys and girls.
  • Myth: Reversals of letters and words are the main signs of dyslexia.

Fact: While some kids with dyslexia write letters backwards, some don’t. Letter reversals are common in the early stages of learning to read and write.

  • However, if it persists to second grade, it may be a sign of the need for an evaluation
  • Myth: Dyslexia is a sign of low intelligence.
  • Fact: Dyslexia affects individuals of all intelligence. The language processing difficulties in individuals is not dependent on one’s IQ.
  • Myth: Kids who don’t speak English can’t have dyslexia.
  • Fact: Dyslexia isn’t a disability associated with only English, it cuts across all written languages in the world.

Although bilingual kids might struggle when learning a new language, continuous struggle in their first and second language might be a sign of the need for evaluation.

  • Myth: Learners will outgrow dyslexia once they learn to read.

Fact: While intervention helps keep dyslexia in check, it cannot be outgrown because it is a lifetime learning disability that affects more than just reading skills

Difficulty in decoding, spelling, writing, fluent reading and comprehension are other problems associated with dyslexia.

  • Myth: Dyslexia doesn’t show up in ones early years of life.
  • Fact:  Dyslexia affects language skills essential for reading and the signs can show up in preschool, or earlier. Some early signs are being a late talker, difficulty pronouncing and rhyming words.
  • Myth: Learners with dyslexia needs to be hard working.
  • Fact: Effort does little in helping to curtail dyslexia, rather the type of instruction used makes a difference with adequate guidance and continuous practice.

Causes of Dyslexia

Dyslexia runs in the family and is usually caused by a person’s gene. Other causes are:

  • Individual differences in the parts of the brain that enable reading: Research has shown that there are differences in the brain parts of people who have dyslexia and those who don’t.

Because of the inactivity of some parts of the brain, kids with dyslexia find it difficult to read and write well.

  • Premature birth.
  • Exposure to drugs, alcohol or infection during pregnancy can hinder the brain development of the fetus.

How do you know if your child is dyslexic?

Signs and Symptoms of Dyslexia.

Just as no two individuals are the same, dyslexia signs and symptoms differ among persons.

Some signs are peculiar to dyslexic learners and these signs differ at different stages

Early Childhood

In some cases, it’s possible to detect symptoms of dyslexia before a child starts school.

Symptoms can include:

  • Late speech development (there are different causes for this) here, they find it difficult to pronounce long words and sometimes jumble up phrases.
  • Difficulty in learning letters of the alphabet and new words.
  • Unable to express themselves using spoken language and mixing up sentences.
  • Problems remembering or naming letters, numbers and colours
  • Problem learning and understanding rhymes (rhyming words, nursery rhymes or rhyming games)

School children (5 to 12)

Symptoms of dyslexia become more apparent once your child is in school.

Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty learning letter names and sounds.
  • Confusing the order of letters in words
  • Spending a long time completing tasks that involve reading or writing
  • Answering questions well orally, but having difficulty in writing down the  answers that were said orally.
  • Reading below the expected age level
  • Writing “6” instead of “9”, or “b” instead of “d”
  • Spelling difficulty
  • Visual disturbances when reading (peculiar to some learners)
  • Problems remembering and carrying out a sequence of directions
  • Poor phonological awareness (inability to recognize sounds and words)
  • Poor word attack skills (inability to make sense of unfamiliar words)

Teenagers and adults

The signs and symptoms in children are peculiar to teens and adults including: 

  • Difficulty planning and writing essays, letters or reports
  • Difficulties revising and memorizing for assessment
  • Inability to remember details like telephone numbers or a pin.
  • Poor spelling
  • Mispronouncing names or words
  • Problems comprehending idioms and texts

Associated problems

Other problems that can be found in some people with dyslexia include:

  • Dyscalculia (difficulties with numbers)
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) short attention span.
  •  Developmental coordination disorder.
  •  Physical coordination problems.

Diagnosing Dyslexia

Although the symptoms might be prevalent, no one can be diagnosed with dyslexia unless he has gone through series of evaluations carried out by qualified personnel or specialists.

If you notice any issue with your child’s progress in reading and writing, speak to their teacher first. After discussion and assessment, check out with your doctor to ensure your child has no health issue, the doctor may refer your child to a/an:

  • Ophthalmologist
  • Audiologist
  • Neurologist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Developmental and behavioural paediatrician

Key Takeaways

  • Dyslexia is a neurological condition that reduces a person’s ability to read and write.
  • Dyslexia is common.
  • No one can be diagnosed with dyslexia until he has been properly tested.
  • Signs of dyslexia can vary from person to person at different stages.
  • Dyslexia isn’t something that people grow out of. With good instruction and practice,  kids with dyslexia can make lasting improvements in reading and writing skills.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *