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Children with Specific Learning Difficulties often face unfair treatment compared to their counterparts, most often for no fault of theirs, and get tagged as “Stupid” “Dumb” & “Lazy”. Most of them have problems in understanding things in a conventional way, may experience visual stress while reading. Text can appear blurred or jumbled for them and many more similar problems. This article provides you with clear information about what is Dyslexia in Children, what are the characteristics of dyslexia in children and how to treat dyslexia.
Per the Dyslexia Association of India, nearly 15 percent of enrolled Indian students are diagnosed with dyslexia. This equates to 35 million children. Globally, 5-10 percent of the population experience dyslexia. This makes around 700 million people, a significant portion of which includes children.
Psychologists label them ‘dyslexic’ as these children show symptoms of learning disabilities like their inability to spell a word or pronounce words involving more than two syllables. Research studies have shown how dyslexia treatment if administered early can solve the problem.
What is Dyslexia?
It is a learning disorder wherein the child finds it difficult to read. They find it challenging to connect the letters they see with the sound those letters make. This problem in processing words also leads to difficulty in speaking, spelling, and writing. It's worth noting that children with dyslexia have normal vision, and they are equally smart as their peers.
Signs and Symptoms of Dyslexia
Not all parents are aware of neurological problems like dyslexia that may be the reason for the poor learning abilities of their kids. Besides, the signs of this disorder are more visible among kids when they start learning to read and write, though early cues may also indicate the possibility of suffering from dyslexia. The severity of dyslexia may differ from child to child.
The following signs of dyslexia are apparent before children reach school age:
- Learning to talk very late
- Difficulty in comprehending new words
- Showing confusion in learning homophonic words
- Inability to form words correctly
- Seemingly slow in remembering or naming letters, numbers, and colors
- Incapability in learning nursery rhymes
The signs of dyslexia that are more apparent when kids start studying in school include:
- Poor reading quality in school
- Difficulty in understanding and processing what is being taught
- Feeling hassled while finding the right word or framing the right answer to a question
- Ineptness in remembering the right sequence of events and things
- Incapacity to understand similarities and differences between letters and words
- Inability to pronounce a word properly
- Taking an unusually long time to read and write
- Avoiding reading and writing activities
The symptoms of dyslexia are not too common among teenagers and adults though some of them show the following indications:
- Difficulty in reading including reading out loudly
- The tendency to make spelling mistakes frequently
- Avoiding participation in reading activities
- Difficulty in remembering words or retrieving them
- Facing trouble in understanding jokes
- Taking too much time in reading or writing
- Inability to solve basic mathematics problems
What Causes Dyslexia?
This problem is genetic, which means that it gets passed down from one generation to the next. Though researchers are still trying to find out the exact causes of this disease, studies carried out in this regard reveal how this disorder may be due to a defect in the genes that affects language processing.
There are a few common risk factors of dyslexia. If learning disabilities run in the family, it highlights the family history of dyslexia. Exposure to nicotine, drugs, or alcohol during pregnancy can also result in the child having dyslexia. If the child had a premature birth and their birth-weight was low, this is another risk factor. Similarly, if there’s a difference in their part of the brain that enables reading, they are more likely to have dyslexia.
Common Myths about Dyslexia
The misconception that children riddled with dyslexia are doomed to stay ignorant has been debunked by various researchers. The common myths surrounding children with dyslexia include:
- All dyslexic kids read and write letters backward
- Signs of dyslexia cannot be traced unless kids reach elementary school
- Dyslexic kids need to put in more efforts to be able to read
- Reading is the ultimate cure for dyslexia
- Kids with dyslexia suffer from vision problems
- Dyslexia is not pervasive among non-English speaking kids
- Less exposure to regular reading results in dyslexia
Types of Dyslexia
Not all dyslexic patients show similar signs nor beget the same kind of treatment. Depending on the kind of dyslexic problem that one suffers from and the extent of its grievousness, psychologists prescribe dyslexia treatment options that may include dyslexia rehabilitation too. While the learning difficulties characteristic of dyslexia differ from one person to the other, the common types of dyslexia that many people suffer from include:
- Phonological Dyslexia
- Surface Dyslexia
- Visual Dyslexia
- Primary Dyslexia
- Secondary/Developmental Dyslexia
- Trauma Dyslexia
How Can Teachers Help?
No one understands kids better than their parents and teachers. While parents may ignore the visible learning difficulties faced by children, owing to ignorance about dyslexia and its symptoms, teachers can help by paying attention to the nature and extent of difficulties faced by the students.
Teachers can try to segregate the dyslexic students and allot extra time to students to process and learn the study material. For example, some children benefit greatly through visual learning. Many dyslexic children are unable to read difficult words, especially, conjunctions and prepositions, or comprehend service words. Teaching these words through continued repetition or via a computer spelling program can help.
Though different dyslexic students beget different treatment approaches, it would help if schools could imbibe computer-based learning that allows the students to comprehend words and sentences after they are broken down into bite-sized units. This overlearning enables easy comprehension and leaves a prolonged impression on their minds, thus, quickening their learning pace.
Roughly 10 minutes of daily writing practice followed rigorously for three to five times every week can improve the learning ability and quality of dyslexic students.
Why Must One Seek Dyslexia Treatment?
Many people question “why to treat dyslexia” rather than “how to treat dyslexia”. However, avoiding necessary dyslexia treatments can have a long-lasting effect, if not treated in time. These include:
- Trouble in learning and keeping up with the peers
- Behavioral problems like low self-esteem, unwarranted anxiousness, aggressive behavior, and distancing from parents and friends
- Inability to reach full potential due to difficulty in reading and comprehension
In some cases, kids suffering from dyslexia are also at an increased risk of being diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that may further aggravate into difficulty in sustaining attention and signs of impulsive behavior.
Doctors while determining potential dyslexia problems carry out necessary diagnostic evaluations in the following areas. Some of them are:
- Evaluating background information of the parents
- Checking the child’s intelligence
- Assessing the oral skills of the patient
- Analyzing word recognition skills of the kid
- Determining the fluency skills of the student
- Appraising the child’s vocabulary and reading comprehension
- Estimating the child’s ability to read and pronounce new words
When to Consult a Doctor?
It is estimated that children can read by the time they are four to five years old. However, dyslexic children are unable to grasp the basics of reading by that age, thus, drawing attention to their slow performance. You must consult a doctor to check if your child is afflicted with dyslexia. Dyslexia is not a permanent disease and goes away with early medical intervention and proper attention. Early intervention and timely treatment are essential in managing the symptoms of dyslexia.
Disclaimer: We strive to treat our patients with dignity and the utmost sensitivity. We understand that dyslexia is a disorder and not a sign of weakness. The terms used here to describe those with dyslexia are used not in an offensive way but to remain relevant to user search trends and common usage. In case if you or a loved one have dyslexia and share a unique viewpoint on how we can improve this content for our readers, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
Road to Recovery
Cadabam’s Hospitals is one of the most trusted mental healthcare centers. We offer tailored solutions to help people with dyslexia. Our multi-specialty team consists of highly specialized experts who have extensive training and experience in dealing with kids and teenagers. At Cadabam’s Hospitals, we commit to deliver not just the best treatment but also an exceptional experience. And we’ve stood true to this commitment for more than three decades.
Best Dyslexia Treatment: Why Cadabam’s Hospitals
If your loved one is dealing with Specific Learning Difficulties, please do reach us at +91 97414 76476; or, you can visit Cadabam’s Hospitals. Early diagnosis and treatment can make all the difference, ensuring a better future for that person. Remember, with all the modern-day practices and technologies available today, one doesn’t have to live with learning disabilities. Proper treatment and management plan can deliver them a lasting solution. Our experts are always here to help you with that.
To know more about Dyslexia in Children, you can mail us your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org