Dyslexia is a common condition that is said to affect more than 10% of the population. Although it is not curable, with identification of signs of Dyslexia and early intervention, individuals with the condition can excel in their academic and professional pursuits.
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that affects the reading and writing skills of individuals. People with Dyslexia struggle with spelling and fluency in reading. These difficulties, however, are not a reflection of their intellectual capabilities. Dyslexia affects only certain aspects of learning. So, children with dyslexia can perform well in school if they receive adequate and timely support.
Although it is mostly noticed in children, many adults also get diagnosed with the condition. Adults with dyslexia can struggle with understanding reports and writing down messages.
Lack of evidence-based intervention can lead to emotional issues and low self-esteem in both children and adults. So, it is important to provide a supportive environment for people with dyslexia so that they can lead fulfilling lives.
What Causes Dyslexia?
Researchers are not entirely sure of exactly what causes dyslexia in adults and children. However, Dyslexia has been found to run in families. Therefore, studies are exploring the possibility of genetic links to the condition. Reading difficulties experienced with Dyslexia are also said to be linked to differences in how the brain processes the information. A rare type of Dyslexia is Acquired Dyslexia or Trauma Dyslexia where illnesses or brain injury cause learning difficulties.
What are the Symptoms and Signs of Dyslexia?
Children and adults with Dyslexia can have a range of symptoms. Even among children, the symptoms can vary according to age. Here are some of the common symptoms of Dyslexia by age
Symptoms of Dyslexia in Preschoolers
- Delayed onset of speech.
- Trouble remembering letters of the alphabet.
- Difficulty identifying letters.
- Difficulty recognizing rhyming phrases.
- Mispronouncing familiar words.
Symptoms of Dyslexia in Children Aged 5 and 6
- Difficulty understanding that words are broken into sounds.
- Trouble understanding the correlation between words and sounds.
- Finding reading laborious.
- Difficulty with pronunciation.
- Trouble with sounding out simple words.
Symptoms of Dyslexia in Children Aged 7 to 12
- Slow reading.
- Difficulty learning new vocabulary.
- Confusing similar sounding words.
- Mispronouncing complicated and unfamiliar words.
- Difficulty comprehending words they read.
- Complaining of words jumping around as they read.
- Trouble remembering and following instructions.
Symptoms of Dyslexia in Young Adults
- Trouble finding the right words during conversations.
- Making frequent spelling and grammatical errors.
- Delay in responding to questions.
- Not doing well on written tests in spite of being intelligent.
- Difficulty remembering and recalling names.
Symptoms of Dyslexia in Adults
- Difficulty with time management and organization.
- Difficulty in reading and writing reports.
- Trouble focussing while reading.
- Hesitation to read out loud in front of others.
- Experiencing visual problems with the colour of paper or fonts.
- Lack of interest in reading.
While the above symptoms could indicate dyslexia, these are by no means a definitive diagnosis. Only a trained professional can assess and diagnose dyslexia accurately.
Dyslexia Therapy and Treatment
Treatment for Dyslexia in children mainly focuses on educational techniques that help them with their learning difficulties. Here are some strategies that help individuals with Dyslexia
- Multisensory Instruction methods that teach children to use all of their senses while learning.
- Special educational programs that help the children identify the sounds associated with words.
- Reading aloud to the child to improve fluency and accuracy.
- Using fonts, background colours and paper colours that make reading easier for people with Dyslexia.
- Schools and offices can include accommodations such as audiobooks, additional time to finish tests or text-to-speech technology for people with Dyslexia.
- Using Dyslexia Apps like the MDA Avaz Reader that provide research-based support and hints to enable individuals with Dyslexia to read independently.
Some individuals with Dyslexia can have exceptional creativity due to their ability to look at the world differently. Putting more emphasis on their slow reading or spelling errors can make them feel inferior. So, parents, teachers and caregivers must focus on the strengths of children. Access to necessary tools and resources also help people with Dyslexia manage their condition better and become successful in their lives.
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