By: Lauren Adams, M.A.Ed.
San Diego Center for Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, & Educational Services
Phone: (858) 488-4810; Fax (858) 746-4113
As an educational specialist, I have found that Dyslexia is one of the most misunderstood disabilities even among some teachers. With one out of every five children affected by this disorder, it is critical that we become more educated so we can better identify and remediate it.
Common misconceptions about individuals with Dyslexia include reversal of letters/words or reading backwards, which would lead one to assume a defect in vision.
In fact, the true problem is not actually in seeing the letters and words backwards. The specific part of the language system that deals with phonological processing, or processing and recognizing the distinctive sounds of language and words is affected in someone with Dyslexia.
People with dyslexia have been found to have problems with identifying the separate speech sounds within words and/or learning how letters represent those sounds or phonemes. This is what leads to difficulties learning to read and spell, despite average to above average intelligence and strengths in other areas of language such as vocabulary and oral comprehension.
In sharing a list of common warning signs of Dyslexia I hope to educate you so you may be better equipped to take appropriate steps to assist your child.
Click on the link below to view a one page summary of Warning Signs of Dyslexia taken from Bright Solutions for Dyslexia (Copyright © 2002 by Susan Barton. All Rights Reserved.) As with other learning disabilities, Dyslexia can run in families.
If you have any concerns, you should consult the staff at your child’s school. You always have the right to request evaluations from schools. There is also the option of outside evaluation and sometimes this becomes necessary. It is important to find a professional who is qualified and who has experience diagnosing Dyslexia. For more information on getting a diagnosis and advocating for your child, you should visit www.dyslexiatraininginstitute.org/resources.html.
It is also important to take an active role in intervention because unfortunately many teachers, even special education teachers are not appropriately trained to effectively teach students with dyslexia. These students require a multisensory approach based on the Orton-Gillingham method.
International Dyslexia Association
The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity
Bright Solutions for Dyslexia
National Center for Learning Disabilities
Dyslexia Training Institute
Overcoming Dyslexia, Sally Shaywitz, M.D.
The Dyslexic Advantage, Brock L. Eide
The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan, Ben Foss
Learning Outside the Lines, Jonathan Moone & David Cole
A Mind at a Time, Mel Levine, M.D.
Proust and the Squid, Maryanne Wolf