Does My Child Have Dyslexia?

Part Two

This is a continuation of an article. For clarity, the introductory paragraphs have been repeated here.

If you are wondering about this, you are not alone. The first time your child identifies “b” for “d”, reads “was” for “saw”, that thought usually pops into mind. This article will try to separate fact from fiction and give some solid, though initial, information about dyslexia.

First of all, there are as many different manifestations of dyslexia as there are letters in the alphabet, so no two dyslexics present the same. There are many differing degrees of severity, also. Because it is a highly individualized disorder, individual analysis needs to be sought for each person.

Simply stated, “dyslexia” means difficulty with reading, writing and spelling, with average intelligence being present.

In more depth, it is a neurologically-based, often inherited, disorder that interferes with acquiring and processing language skills. Symptoms include difficulties in receptive (understanding what is said) and expressive (ability to verbally communicate) language. It covers phonological understanding and processing and is sometimes evident in math.

Depending on the age of the child, difficulties may manifest as a struggle with accurate and quick word recognition, poor spelling and difficulty decoding words. Older students may have difficulty with reading comprehension. This often leads to the secondary issues of poor vocabulary development and the growth of necessary background knowledge to support more complex learning.

Since Dyslexia inhibits reading and spelling development, here are some errors that might be present:

  • Reading errors that may indicate the need for further investigation
  • May work at “sounding” out a word, then not recognize the same word further down on the page
  • Inability to sound out an unknown word
  • Choppy, not fluent reading
  • Ignores punctuation
  • Focusing on word clues, but not looking at entire word (horse for house, mail for milk)
  • Addition or deletion of letters (could for cold, far for fair)
  • Inaccurate sequencing of letters (grill for girl, was for saw, how for who)
  • b/d, p/q, m/w confusion
  • May substitute similar meaning words (cry for weep)
  • Misreads, omits or adds small words: an, a, from, the, etc.
  • Ignores or drops off suffixes (talk for talks, cry for crying)
  • Spelling errors that may indicate the need for further investigation
  • Weak “inventive” spelling, often leaving out vowels
  • Difficulty memorizing the spelling list. May be able to pass the Friday test, but unable to correctly spell those same words in a few days/weeks
  • Difficulty spelling high frequency sight words (what, who, where, does, etc)
  • Sloppy written work

The next article will go into another issue prevalent with students with dyslexia: Handwriting

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