Currey Ingram Blog

More than Mixing Up B-D-Ps: Does Your Child Have Dyslexia?

Posted by Dr. Jane Hannah on Apr 3, 2019, 7:36:00 PM

So, what is dyslexia? “Dys” means difficulty and “lexia” means “with words.” A child with dyslexia has difficulty reading words accurately and fluently.

But it also can create difficulty with other skills including reading comprehension, spelling, math and writing.

Raising a child with dyslexia is, at times, an overwhelming life-long journey. As you travel through life with a child with dyslexia, your heart breaks because learning to read, spell and write are so difficult. As a parent, you often feel alone because of those who just don’t understand how hard your daughter or son must work just to read a list of 10 words.

10 Signs that may suggest your child has dyslexia:

  1. Difficulty producing speech sounds as a preschooler and throughout early grades.
  2. Trouble with rhyming and may mis-sequence syllables when speaking (i.e., cakecup for cupcake).
  3. Difficulty recalling names and sounds of letters and learning phonics.
  4. Avoids reading activities.
  5. Poor spelling and writing skills.
  6. Can’t recall words even with practice.
  7. Slow laborious reading and inaccurate reading of real words.
  8. Overwhelmed by multiple tasks.
  9. Can’t work fast enough to keep up with the pace in the classroom.
  10. May show frustration with school or become the class clown to avoid others finding out he/she cannot read well.

5 things I wish others knew about my child who has Dyslexia:

  1. My child is just as bright as others; having dyslexia has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence.
  2. Dyslexia is not a visual problem. It is a myth that individuals with dyslexia see letters backwards. Reversing letters is common in children until age 7.
  3. My child is not lazy; he must work twice as hard as others to accomplish the same tasks.
  4. Just because my child struggles with reading, it doesn’t mean he isn’t capable in other areas, such as sports, art or math.
  5. Don’t tell me that my child will grow out of it or that he is a late bloomer. Early intervention for dyslexia is crucial.

7 Tips to help your child:

  1. Get a formal evaluation that will identify your child’s learning difference.
  2. At home, use multi-sensory activities (using multiple senses) to practice learning letter names, sounds
    and spelling. This could include writing in sand or shaving cream; the website www.understood.com has many suggestions.
  3. Play with sounds by swapping out sounds in words. For example, “Say sand, now say sand again without the /s/.
  4. Continue to read stories again and again.
  5. When reading with your child, point out how there are spaces between words and point out written words and letters in the world (i.e., signs on road and in grocery).
  6. Select books for your child to read that are at the right reading level. You can use the five-finger rule. Open to the middle of the book and have him/her read a page of about 100 words. If he misses five or more words, the book is too difficult for him/her to read alone.
  7. Use Assistive Technology, such as Learning Ally or Audible, which offers many recorded books so your child can continue to enjoy grade-level text; text to speech apps; and apps such as PRIZMO GO to take a picture of text and then have it read it back to you.
  8. Because learning to read is a complex process, there is no magic pill or quick x. Sometimes, it may take years for a student with dyslexia to learn to read. However, we do know that a student can improve reading skills with the right intervention that is sustained over a sufficient time period.

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(By Dr. Jane Hannah, Assistant Head of School for Academics and Programs.)

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