Other Learning Disabilities
What is Dyslexia
Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability that refers to symptoms that result in people having difficulties with specific language skills, especially reading. In addition, students with dyslexia generally experience problems with other language skills such as spelling, writing, and pronouncing words.
There is no cure for dyslexia. However, like other learning disabilities, early intervention is key to helping an individual succeed at their current academic level and, in turn, their future life. With proper intervention and ongoing therapy from a trained professional, many people with dyslexia learn to read and write. For those individuals with severe cases of dyslexia, unique education settings are generally recommended to allow a child to thrive academically.
Signs and Symptoms of Dyslexia
Dyslexia is widely thought to be a condition in which an individual reverses characters and words in a written or oral context. However, although words and letters may often be jumbled, simplifying dyslexia to words and letters being backward is a myth. There are a wide variety of signs that an individual may be impacted by dyslexia which may include the following:
- Proper development of speech
- Learning letters, words, and their pronunciation
- Organizing written and spoken language
- Memorizing number facts
- Reading comprehension
- Persisting with and comprehending longer reading assignments
- Spelling basics words
- Learning a foreign language
- Correctly completing math problems & operations
How Dyslexia is Diagnosed & Treated
As mentioned before, dyslexia is a lifelong condition an individual will need to learn to manage with the help of trained professionals. Early identification is critical to helping individuals with dyslexia do well in school. When dyslexia goes undiagnosed, students do poorly academically, further limiting their options in the future. It is common for teachers to be one of the first people to identify dyslexia as a challenge for a student.
The only way to properly diagnose dyslexia is with formal evaluations. These evaluations consist of tests that include reading, language, and writing skills. Additionally, a child’s medical and behavioral history is collected from parents and teachers to help determine if dyslexia is the only condition present.
Once diagnosed with dyslexia, a child may receive special accommodations from their school. This varies considerably based on the child’s need and how severe their dyslexia is. People with dyslexia need a systematic approach to learning that simultaneously involves several senses, such as hearing, seeing, and touch. Individual tutoring sessions are also helpful to learn at their own pace without pressure from other students and teachers. Typically, private therapists work closely with a child’s teachers and parents as part of a larger, comprehensive treatment plan.
Advocating for students with dyslexia is key to their success. Therefore, unique accommodations and modifications may be provided to help them succeed. Such accommodations may include modified testing and assignments, extra time to complete projects in class and at home, and assistance with note-taking or early access to teaching plans.
By identifying dyslexia early and starting treatment, a child may avoid other behavioral issues. Dyslexia and other learning disabilities are incredibly frustrating for a child who, as much as they try, cannot succeed academically because of their limitations. This often results in a child acting out or even withdrawing from social circles, including at home.