Dyslexia
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Dyslexia

Chaotic?
Dreamy?
Clumsy?
Angry or frustrated?
So bright in some ways but unaccountably slow in others?

Is this YOUR child or YOU?

You may not have associated these descriptions with what you have read or heard about dyslexia, but this learning difficulty is much more than just an inability to read.
(Some dyslexic children have reading ages two, three, even four years behind their actual age.)
And dyslexia doesn't go away, though it can be helped.

Dyslexia symptoms vary according to the severity of the disorder as well as the age of the individual.

Pre-school age children

It is difficult to obtain a certain diagnosis of dyslexia before a child begins school, but many dyslexic individuals have a history of difficulties that began well before kindergarten. Children who exhibit these symptoms have a higher risk of being diagnosed as dyslexic than other children. Some of these symptoms are:

bulletDelay in learning to speak
bulletLearns new words slowly
bulletHas difficulty rhyming words, as in nursery rhymes
bulletLate in establishing a dominant hand
Early elementary school-age children
bulletDifficulty learning the alphabet
bulletDifficulty with associating sounds with the letters that represent them (sound-symbol correspondence)
bulletDifficulty identifying or generating rhyming words, or counting syllables in words
bulletDifficulty segmenting words into individual sounds, or blending sounds to make words 
bulletDifficulty with word retrieval or naming problems
bulletDifficulty learning to decode words
bulletConfusion with before/after, right/left, over/under, and so on
bulletDifficulty distinguishing between similar sounds in words; mixing up sounds in multisyllable words (auditory discrimination) (for example, "aminal" for animal, "bisghetti" for spaghetti)
Older elementary school children
bulletSlow or inaccurate reading
bulletVery poor spelling
bulletDifficulty associating individual words with their correct meanings
bulletDifficulty with time keeping and concept of time
bulletDifficulty with organization skills
bulletDue to fear of speaking incorrectly, some children become withdrawn and shy or become bullies out of their inability to understand the social cues in their environment
bulletDifficulty comprehending rapid instructions, following more than one command at a time or remembering the sequence of things
bulletReversals of letters (b for d) and a reversal of words (saw for was) are typical among children who have dyslexia. Reversals are also common for children age 6 and younger who don't have dyslexia. But with dyslexia, the reversals persist.
bulletChildren with dyslexia may fail to see (and occasionally to hear) similarities and differences in letters and words, may not recognize the spacing that organizes letters into separate words, and may be unable to sound out the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word.

Diagnosis

Evaluation will usually also include an IQ test to establish a profile of learning strengths and weaknesses. While such "discrepancy" tests between full scale IQ and reading level have, on their own, been shown to be flawed, the tests often include interdisciplinary testing to exclude other possible causes for reading difficulties, such as a more generalized cognitive impairment or physical causes such as problems with vision or hearing.

Recent dyslexia research using neuroimaging suggests that it may one day be possible to identify children with dyslexia before they learn to read.

Currently, lack of access to neuroimaging makes it impractical for diagnosing dyslexia; however, there are testing instruments that can be used to assess the specific manifestations of these neurobiological differences. These instruments assess accurate and/or fluent word recognition, single real word reading fluency, phonological processing, and for older students, spelling deficits and general language competence. There are screening instruments that can be used to identify children at high risk for dyslexia as young as 6 years of age.

See the International Dyslexia Association for more information.

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