Dyslexia

1 What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia also called a specific reading disability, is a learning disorder characterized by difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words.

It is common learning disability in children. Dyslexia occurs in children with normal vision and intelligence. Sometimes dyslexia goes undiagnosed for years and isn't recognized until adulthood.

There is no cure for dyslexia. It's a lifelong condition caused by inherited traits that affect how the brain works.

However, most children with dyslexia can succeed in school with tutoring or a specialized education program. Emotional support also plays an important role.

2 Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of dyslexia may be first recognised when a child enters school. It becomes more apparent as the child starts learning to read.

Signs and symptoms of dyslexia in a child before school include:

  • Late talking
  • Learning new words slowly
  • Difficulty learning nursery rhymes
  • Difficulty playing rhyming games

The signs and symptoms of dyslexia in a child in school include:

  • Reading well below the expected level for the child's age.
  • Problems processing and understanding what he or she hears
  • Difficulty understanding rapid instructions
  • Trouble remembering the sequence of things
  • Difficulty seeing (and occasionally hearing) similarities and differences between letters and words
  • Inability to sound out the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word
  • Difficulty spelling
  • Trouble learning a foreign language

Dyslexia symptoms in teenagers and adults are similar to those in children. They may include:

  • Difficulty reading
  • Trouble understanding jokes or expressions that have a meaning not easily understood from the specific words (idioms), such as "piece of cake" meaning "easy"
  • Difficulty managing time
  • Difficulty summarizing a story
  • Difficulty memorizing
  • Difficulty solving math problems
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3 Causes

There is no one cause for Dyslexia, as it is developmental and linked to other genes that control how the brain develops.

Dyslexia appears to be an inherited condition, as it seems to run in families. It can be linked to several genes that control how the brain develops.

These genes appear to affect parts of the brain that control language and thus interfere with the ability to convert written letters and words into speech.

4 Making a Diagnosis

There is no test that can be used to diagnose dyslexia.

Doctors usually consider the following before making a diagnosis of dyslexia:

  • A child's development, educational issues and medical history.
  • A child's life at home, including who he or she lives with and if there are any problems at home.
  • A child may be asked to take a written questionnaire to identify reading and language skills.
  • Vision, hearing and neurological tests can be carried out to check if another problem is adding to or causing dyslexia.
  • Psychological tests to determine if social problems, anxiety or depression are limiting a child's abilities.
  • Testing, reading and academic skills.

5 Treatment

Dyslexia is a lifelong problem that has no cure. However, early detection and evaluation to determine the specific requirements and appropriate treatment can improve success.

Dyslexia can be treated by using specific educational approaches and techniques. These interventions should be started as soon as possible.

Psychological testing may also be used to help a child's teachers to develop a teaching program that is suitable for the child. Teachers may use techniques involving hearing, vision and touch to improve reading skills.

Tutoring with a reading specialised is recommended for many children with dyslexia. Tutoring may need to occur frequently, and may progress slowly in children with severe dyslexia.

In the United States, schools have a legal obligation to take steps to help children diagnosed with dyslexia with their learning problems.

An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) can be set up to outline a child's needs and how the school will help him or her to succeed. Success in employment for adults with dyslexia can be difficult.

The following can help adults with dyslexia to achieve their goals:

  • Seeking evaluation and instructional help with reading and writing, regardless of age.
  • Asking about additional training and reasonable accommodations from an employer or academic institution under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

6 Lifestyle and Coping

Lifestyle modifications are necessary in order to cope with dyslexia.

Children with dyslexia require emotional support as well as opportunities for achievements in activities that do not involve reading. Parents can help their children cope with dyslexia.

Parents can help their children cope with dyslexia by:

  • Being supportive
  • Explaining to their child what dyslexia is, so he or she can better cope with this condition.
  • Providing a clean. quiet, organised place for the child to study and making sure a child gets enough rests and eats regularly healthy meals.
  • Talking frequently to a child's teachers to make sure he or she is able to stay on track.
  • Joining a support group to stay in contact with parents whose children face similar learning difficulties.

7 Risks and Complications

Having a family history of dyslexia and individual differences in the parts of the brain that enable reading can increase the risks of having dyslexia.

Dyslexia can lead to the following problems:

  • Trouble learning
  • If left untreated it can lead to social problems, such as low self-esteem, behavior problems, anxiety, aggression and withdrawal from friends, parents, and teachers.
  • Inability to read and write can prevent a child from reaching his or her potential. This can have long-term educational, social and economic consequences.
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