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What is Dyslexia?

First things first: What is dyslexia?

If you are concerned that your child may be dyslexic, we can assure you of this: he or she is not alone. It is estimated that 15% of the American population - or one out of every seven boys and girls - has some form of learning disability. Of these, dyslexia is the most common.

Dyslexia affects a child’s acquisition of the skills necessary to read easily and competently. The problem typically manifests itself in what educators call “oral language processing related to phonological awareness.” This means that the child has diminished skill in deciphering letter patterns and developing “word attack” skills. The child with dyslexia will often experience difficulties with spelling and writing, too. Even numbers may pose a problem. It is not uncommon for children with dyslexia to reverse or invert their number forms.

And now for the good news.

Dyslexia is lifelong. However, with early intervention, children with dyslexia can learn strategies to compensate for their disability and become competent, efficient readers and writers. Moreover, children with dyslexia are often of above-average intelligence. As a child begins to move beyond the ego-damaging aspects of dyslexia, his or her innate talents often rise to the fore. Dyslexia also comes with an array of strengths (read “The Dyslexic Advantage” by Brock and Fredette Eide).

 

Watch “Dyslexia Breakthrough”, an NECN News Program.

How can you determine if your child is dyslexic?

Signs of dyslexia manifest themselves when a child is very young, and many parents may feel instinctively that their child is dyslexic at an early age. Telltale signs of dyslexia in children at the preschool/kindergarten level may include delay in talking, difficulty recognizing and producing rhymes, and difficulty remembering rote information such as phone numbers and following directions. However, the only certain way to know is to have your child tested.

Carroll’s website provides important information about research updates in the field of language-based learning disabilities, our Speaker Series relates compelling testimonies about addressing issues surrounding dyslexia and stories of academic and professional success presented by dyslexic adults, and we offer resources and online links to respected, useful sources of information.