Dyslexia

  • What is Dyslexia?

    Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin.

    It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and / or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.

    Adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002. This Definition is also used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Studies show that individuals with dyslexia process information in a different area of the brain than do non-dyslexics.Many people who are dyslexic are of average to above average intelligence.
  • Signs of Dyslexia

    • Lack of awareness of sounds in words-sound order, rhymes, or sequence of syllables

    • Difficulty decoding words-single word identification

    • Difficulty encoding words-spelling

    • Poor sequencing of numbers, of letters in words, when read or written, e.g. b-d; sign-sign; left-felt; soiled- solid; 12-21

    • Problems with reading comprehension

    • Difficulty expressing thoughts in written form

    • Delayed spoken language

    • Imprecise or incomplete interpretation of language that is heard

    • Difficulty in expressing thoughts orally

    • Confusion about directions in space or time (right and left, up and down, early and late, yesterday and tomorrow, months and days)

    • Confusion about left and right handedness.

    • Similar problems among relatives

    • Difficulty in handwriting

    • Difficulty in mathematics-often related to sequencing steps or directional or to the language of mathematics

  • Effective Intervention

    There is growing body of evidence supporting multisensory teaching. Current research, much of it supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development(NICHD), converges on the efficacy of explicit structured language teaching for children with dyslexia. Young children in structured, sequential multisensory intervention programs, who were also trained in phonemic awareness, made significant gains in decoding skills. These multisensory approaches used direct, explicit teaching of letter-sound relationships, syllable patterns, and meaning word parts. Studies in clinical setting showed similar results for a wide range of ages and abilities.

    The following approaches have been used in schools and clinics with students who exhibit symptoms associated with dyslexia:

    • Slingerland
    • Alphabetic Phonics
    • Project Read
    • Wilson
    • Language!
    • Barton Reading and Spelling System
  • Suggestions for Working with Your Child

    When your child has homework or when the teacher requests that you work with your child regularly at home, you may find some of these suggestions useful.
    • Set aside a period each day at a specific time.

    • Play the role of a teacher. Be objective and impersonal during the homework session. Talk about your different roles as parent and teacher to help the child understand what you are doing.

    • Do not let the child take control. He may want to talk instead of work. He may ask, “Do I have to?” He may act foolish, giggle, or complain of a headache. If the child begins to throw a tantrum, tell him to go ahead and have a tantrum but that he will still have to get to the work when he is finished.

    • If you know that he has reason to feel tired or over-excited, wait until he is calm and rested.

    • Keep your directions short and simple. In some cases, show him instead of tell him.

    • Don’t pressure your child to work fast. Timed wwws or tasks will be especially disorganizing for him. Rewards for finishing a task at a specific time also create undue pressure. Instead, say, “When you are finished you may…….”.

    • Help your child learn how to relax. Several deep breaths in and out will often help. Massage his neck and shoulders when he appears to be tense.

    • When you sense it would be helpful, read lessons to your child. Ask him to read every other paragraph or take turns in other ways. Allow him to rest his eyes while you read to him.

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