Did you know that about 40% of students will learn to read without any difficulty, 40% will learn to read but will have to work at it, and up to 20% of students have dyslexia?
Years ago, before I began studying dyslexia, I assumed it just referred to flipping letters. When I was teaching in the classroom I rarely noticed my students reversing letters or numbers and figured it was not very common.
At that time I had a son who was struggling a lot in school. His reading and spelling had not been developing well for several years and we just felt stuck. I tried all sorts of teaching methods and curriculum, hired tutors, and worked with his teacher to help him improve. Nothing seemed to help.
I often received advice from his teacher, friends who were teachers, and relatives that the reading would come…I just had to give it time. I was also told that my child just needed to try harder, study more, or do extra reading.
Dyslexia is a neurological and often genetic condition which is highly heritable, marked by difficulty with reading or spelling, which is surprising given a person’s intelligence. In other words, an individual with dyslexia has difficulty with reading and spelling even though they are average or gifted in intelligence.
Unfortunately, because people with dyslexia are smart, it is assumed that the reason they are not reading or spelling well is a lack of effort. If your child just needs more practice, then their skills should improve within a few months. If practice is not improving their skills, dyslexia may be the cause.
Some symptoms of dyslexia may appear to be random, but there are actually patterns that dyslexia experts look for in both testing and performance. There is some predictability in the way someone with dyslexia will read and especially spell.
Students can be screened for dyslexia as early as five and a half years old because this is the age that the underlying skills for reading and spelling should have naturally been developed. These underlying skills I’m talking about are phonological processing skills.
Reading is actually an auditory skill that is applied to print. This is why many children who have speech challenges early on end up having reading, spelling and writing problems in school.
I hope you’ve found some of the information here helpful. If you are looking for help now please give our office a call at 253-857-8188 or contact us through our contact page.
In my next post I will talk about signs you may be seeing at home or in school.