Definitions and Help: Understanding Dyslexia
As a parent, understanding dyslexia helps you understand your child’s needs at school and at home.
Dyslexia is often misunderstood. It is not an intellectual deficit, and those with dyslexia often have unique strengths in other areas such as creativity. At its core, dyslexia is a difficulty in processing language.
Children with dyslexia see letters and words the same way as others. It is not just that they see letters and words reversed. Because they use different areas of the brain to support reading, they have trouble working with and manipulating words. The signals their brain sends and receives about letters and words get scrambled. This is not the same as an intellectual deficiency.
What Does “Manipulating Words” Mean?
It is difficult for those with dyslexia to break a word into its sounds or syllables. They struggle to match letters with their sounds, which makes reading entire words difficult. And because they spend more time decoding words, they read at a slower rate, making reading comprehension difficult.
Since dyslexia is a difficulty in processing language, dyslexics often struggle in other areas as well, like spelling, writing, sequencing, and organization. Children with dyslexia commonly spell words phonetically – as they “hear” the word.
Dyslexia often runs in families. Because dyslexia is on a continuum, from mild to severe, it often looks different between family members. In fact, many parents realize adults in their family have dyslexia only after a child is diagnosed. Understanding dyslexia is a hereditary disorder well help you keep an eye out for symptoms in your child.
What Do We Do Next?
If you think your child may have dyslexia, it’s very important to communicate this to the school. It may be appropriate to consider an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Learn more about understanding dyslexia, what to say to your child’s school, and how to say it by logging into ExceptionALLY – free advice, customized to you and your child, and organization for all parents.
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