Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects reading skills. It is estimated that somewhere around 8 to 10 percent of the population has dyslexia, and it can occur in anyone regardless of intelligence or socioeconomic status. If you are a parent with a child who has been recently diagnosed with dyslexia, or you are just starting to suspect that your child may have dyslexia, it is important to learn as much as you can about the condition so that you can help your child overcome these challenges and thrive. This blog post will provide an overview of childhood dyslexia, including what causes it and how it impacts reading ability. While dyslexia has no cure, there are ways to help relieve the symptoms of the condition.

It is important to know that people are born dyslexic. It is not something that can be developed later in life. The condition is also hereditary, so if either you or your child’s father have dyslexia, the more likely your children are, as well.

The signs of dyslexia include:

  • You may notice delayed speech and learning new words slowly.
  • Having trouble forming the correct sounds for these tricky phrases, and it can take time before they get all of their letters in order so that you’re able to read them easily
  • You might notice problems with reversing sound or confusion between similar-sounding word pairs like “babysitter” versus “playdate.”
  • Your little one also might struggle remembering which letter goes where.

Their reading level may be significantly behind for their age group and will struggle significantly with language arts classes. If you notice that your child’s reading ability is not where it should be by elementary school, then it is time to seek an evaluation.

Diagnosis
There is no single exam that is used to diagnose dyslexia. A variety of factors are taken into account during a child’s evaluation. You may be interviewed and asked questions about your child’s medical history and their home environment. Your child may be asked to take reading tests, answer a questionnaire, or be screened for a neurological exam.

Treatment
If a child psychologist or other professional informs you that the problem is indeed dyslexia, inform your child’s school so that they can get the accommodations they need. If your child is significantly delayed and is having too much trouble in a mainstream school setting, it may be necessary to seek enrollment in a special education program. This is nothing to be ashamed of. It simply shows that you are doing your job as a parent.

Even if your child is found to not be dyslexic, it is possible for signs of another neurological condition to be detected, such as a learning disability or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If you have any further questions or speculations about your child’s development, it is crucial to address all of them to your child’s pediatrician or evaluator so that you can get them the help they need.

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer for how to best help a child who struggles with dyslexia, strategies that focus on building phonemic awareness and word decoding skills are often most successful. It is also important to remember that even if a diagnosis is made, that it is not the end of the world. There are plenty of successful people who have dyslexia, including Keria Knigtley, Jay Leno, and Whoopi Goldberg. Remember: nobody is 100% “normal!” That is simply a setting on a washing machine.