Dyslexia is a condition that many professionals and parents often misunderstand. In the community it is often incorrectly believed to be a visual difficulty when in most instances this is not the case. Dyslexia is a condition which affects a child's ability to efficiently process sounds and link them to letters. It's important to identify Dyslexia early in a child's life in order for them to get the help they need.
One to one direct reading instruction by a qualified professional is extremely important if your child is diagnosed as having Dyslexia. Commencing intervention as early as possible in a child's life promotes success and improves outcomes. Children with Dyslexia can become functional readers and can have the same opportunities as others.
If your child has reading difficulties and is falling behind in class talk to their teacher as a first step. Teachers can give you an indication of where exactly your child's literacy levels are compared to other children.
Monitor your child's difficulties and give them individual support. Read to them and with them regularly. Start with the basics and try and make it fun. Give them choices over what they can read and appeal to their interests.
There are many great iPad apps to help with developing fundamental reading skills. Look up 'phonological processing', 'phonics games' and 'children's reading games' in the app store initially to get some ideas.
It's important to remember that all children develop at different rates with regards to academics, social skills and language. Some children do need more time to develop certain skills however sometimes it is more than just a delay. 5-15% of children experience Dyslexia which is a brain based disorder and not merely a delay. If your child has Dyslexia or another learning disorder early assessment and treatment is extremely important.
If you have ongoing concerns, your child is not improving or you feel that there is more to it than just a delay your child may benefit from a comprehensive learning assessment. An assessment by a Child Psychologist will provide a detailed overview of your child's learning strengths and weaknesses and can identify learning disorders such as Dyslexia.
If you have further questions about Dyslexia you may be interested in viewing this article which provides a good overview for parents.
You can also call us on 02 4929 2223 and we would be happy to help you and your child.
Child Psychologist Daniel Wendt is the Principal Clinical Psychologist of Oracle Psychology in Newcastle, NSW.