Dyslexia – Processing the Problem
June 15, 2015
The difficulty with the identification of dyslexia is that many of the symptoms are so broad. Sometimes parents can see one, or several traits of dyslexia in their child, but these can be temporary problems rather than the symptoms of a long-term condition.
Dyslexia can be demonstrated through early childhood behaviors such as struggling to group or sequence. Later in development, children can jumble up words and phrases or struggle to remember numbers in sequence. At school age, children with dyslexia may put letters and figures the wrong way around, struggle to learn to read and spell, or may even have slightly delayed speech development. This broad list of possible symptoms means sometimes children can be wrongly labeled or slip under the radar.
Class teachers, family, and friends may raise legitimate concerns about some of the symptoms of dyslexia, but these should not be considered a formal diagnosis. Many professionals will not test children for dyslexia until they are 7 or 8 years old. Your pediatrician and school can support you with assessing your child and developing learning strategies to help them succeed in the classroom and beyond.
No link to intellect
Remember that dyslexia has nothing to do with a child’s intellect. Parents can sometimes feel that the label of dyslexia will hinder a child’s academic life. Research has proven that there is the same range of intelligence among children with dyslexia as those without. Noted brain boxes with dyslexia include famous scientist, Albert Einstein, internationally renowned filmmaker, Steven Speilberg, and the super successful businessman, Henry Ford!
Many children with dyslexia struggle with their self esteem, so a great way to support your child is by enjoying extra-curricular activities together such as sports, art and design, drama and dance, to take some of the focus away from academics. We know that enjoying activities as a family, and allowing them non-academic opportunities to thrive can really help boost children’s self esteem and feelings of self worth.
Supporting your child’s learning through additional classes with professionals can really help consolidate what your child has learned at school. This helps prevent them slipping behind and losing the confidence and motivation to be a successful learner. As long as this is seen as positive support rather than ‘extra work’ it can have a great benefit to their learning overall.
By Belinda Southgate, Explore Horizons
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