Is My Child Dyslexic?

Symptoms of Dyslexia 

"Dyslexia" is a very dire-sounding word, but it's really is just a sophisticated way to say, "really struggles with reading in a way that doesn't quite make sense."   A quick search will reveal the classic signs:  difficulty remembering letter names and sounds, struggles with rhyming, inability to recognize familiar words, terrible spelling, and often, struggles with letter-formation and and handwriting.  These processing difficulties are often the primary indications that something's amiss.   A good first step toward determining whether or not you child is dyslexic is taking a quick brief assessment, such as this free screener developed by Lexercise.

 

Screeners can indicate important skill deficits, but they don't tell the whole story;  clues that your child may be dyslexic may also appear in more subtle, social and emotional behaviors.

Intelligent, eager-to-please, hardworking students can conceal their dyslexia through diligent memorization of "sight words" and/or application of various reading "strategies" (prediction, guessing from context or picture cues, etc.) that may distract parents and teachers from their troubling inability to actually read words.   And if your child isn't,  ahem,  particularly diligent or eager-to-please, and either acts out, or seems to space out, those behaviors will also obscure  the puzzling difficulties that are the hallmark of dyslexia.   Because if you can't read... what else are you supposed to do in class?  

Are you seeing these behaviors?  

  • Does the mere prospect of reading make your child mad or frustrated?

  • Does he or she constantly look at your face for confirmation while reading aloud? 

  • Do you face constant battles when it's time for homework?

  • Are you hearing about acting out in class, or constant lack of focus?

  • Does your child seem anxious or sad when it's time for school?  

  • Are you hearing a lot about stomachaches and other ailments that would keep them home from school?

 

Every child shows stress in his or her own way, and being unable to read is a major cause of stress, affecting not just academic, but social and emotional development as well. 

It's also important to note that reading disabilities do run in families.  If a child's parent(s) or close relatives had (or have) difficulties with reading, early intervention is especially important.  

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