Many people have heard the term dyslexia, but really aren’t clear about what dyslexia is. Some people think it is only a reading problem and don’t realize that dyslexia is also connected to spelling and writing. Other people think it means a student is not intelligent, but intelligence has no correlation to dyslexia. Still others think dyslexics just see things backwards!
Let’s define dyslexia. When we look at the word dyslexia, it can be broken down into its Greek origins. “Dys” meaning difficulty and “lexis” meaning language. So, the most literal definition of dyslexia is, “difficulty with language.” We can expand this definition further. Dyslexia is an inherited condition that makes it extremely difficult to read, write and spell, and is not connected to intelligence.
In her book, Conquering Dyslexia, Jan Hasbrouck, Ph.D. writes, “Dyslexia, like all learning disabilities, is a spectrum disorder that varies in the level of impact, meaning that someone can have mild, moderate, or severe dyslexia.” This is why it can be so difficult to identify. A young student, who experiences it only mildly, may not struggle in the same way another child, who is severely impacted, struggles. No two people experience dyslexia in the same way.
There are many warning signs, but not all students have every symptom. Some of the signs include:
- Difficulty rhyming words.
- Slow, choppy, and inaccurate reading that includes guesses based on shape or context, skipped or misread prepositions, ignoring suffixes and inability to sound out words.
- Terrible spelling.
- Difficulty remember sight words (they, were, does) or homonyms (their, they’re, there).
- Difficulty telling time on a clock with hands.
- Difficulty memorizing multiplication tables.
- Word finding difficulty or mixing up word order when speaking.
- Poor grades.
- Difficulty putting thoughts on paper.
- b-d, b-p, n-u, or m-w confusion beyond first grade.
If your child has three or more symptoms, it’s time to learn more about dyslexia and have your child screened.
Once a student has been identified, it is necessary to provide the right kind of intervention. Students with dyslexia can learn to read and spell, but they must be taught in the same manner in which they learn, using a structured literacy approach based on the science of reading. There is no ‘quick fix’ for dyslexia. In addition, students need appropriate accommodations to maintain success at school, while they build their reading and spelling skills over time.
Visit the new Dyslexia Center at A+ Solutions or call our office at 216.896.0111 for more information about the dyslexia services we offer. We are here for you!