An inherited disability that causes children difficulty learning to spell, read, and plan effectively, Dyslexia should be diagnosed as soon as possible. If it is not, those who have it will fall behind in developing vocabulary skills and advanced language and reading skills. As a result, others may think of a person as mentally “slow.” Such an opinion can then cause a person to feel intellectually inferior. So, it is vital to pursue a diagnosis as soon as warning signs are spotted.
Here are some of the challenges:
Those with Dyslexia have difficulty in processing language. As small children, they take longer to speak as they struggle with phonetics; when older, writing comes later than it does for their peers as they have trouble learning the alphabet, recognizing letters (i.e., confusing “d” and “t”), and remembering them. After they acquire writing skills, they can sometimes be confused with spellings, and they may write numbers and letters backward. There can be difficulty using appropriate words as dyslexic individuals get mixed meanings. They can also have difficulty with rhyming patterns they encounter in nursery rhymes. These children learn to read later than others as they have trouble sounding out letters and words. They often confuse some letters such as “b” and “d.” They can also write letters and numbers backward. Dyslexic children have trouble matching letters with their sounds and matching meanings to words.
With an IEP (Individual Education Plan), teachers can focus on areas in which individual students need help. For instance, children can work with Reading Specialists who can assist them with speech sounds (“phonics”), reading more fluently, and comprehending what they read. Students may also need help with learning to write.
Today, there are more options for helping children with Dyslexia. For instance, Orton-Gillingham has a step-by-step program for matching sounds with letters. Multisensory instruction is also available; for example, children can run their fingers over letters made of sandpaper as they learn to spell.
Parents should encourage reading and writing at home. They can purchase books on CDs and have children listen as they read along with the recording, demonstrating their enjoyment. Have children re-read books they have enjoyed, for doing so will reinforce what they have learned. Also, let the children read aloud to them.