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  • Writer's pictureEsna van der Walt

Identify dyslexia in children early on

If your child is struggling with reading accuracy, fluency and comprehension, you might consider having them tested for dyslexia. The earlier you identify dyslexia as the source of your child's reading difficulties, the sooner you could introduce interventions to help them live a better life.

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a hereditary learning disorder with a focus on reading impairment. It affects areas of the brain that process language and involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words. Persons with dyslexia usually also have difficulties with other language skills, including spelling, writing and pronouncing words. Dyslexia occurs in children with normal vision, intelligence and desire to learn.

Signs and symptoms of dyslexia

Early signs that a child may have dyslexia include speech delays, mirror writing and letter reversal. They may also be easily distracted by background noise, which could be attributed to the fact that dyslexia often occurs with attention-deficit or hyperactivity disorder.

Later on, symptoms of dyslexia include difficulty:

· Identifying or generating rhyming words

· Counting syllables in words

· Segmenting words into individual sounds

· Blending sounds to make words

· Retrieving words or naming things

· Spelling correctly

· Summarising a story

· Memorising

· Reading aloud

· Learning a foreign language

Persons with dyslexia tend to omit or add letters or words when writing or reading, It is also a myth that persons with dyslexia read or write words backwards, although their spelling can look quite mixed-up at times because they have trouble remembering letter symbols for sounds and forming memories for words. Dyslexia may also have social and emotional effects on the individuals involved, as they may feel insecure or have a reduced self-esteem due to their learning disorder.

Importance of identifying dyslexia

Not all children and adults who have difficulties with these skills have dyslexia. Dyslexia is best identified through formal testing of reading accuracy, fluency, language proficiency and writing skills that do not seem to match their level of intelligence from prior observations.

Dyslexia is a lifelong condition, but identifying dyslexia early on will ensure that learners can get the right guidance and therapy to improve their reading and writing skills that will help them in school, work and life. Most people with dyslexia need help from a teacher, tutor, or therapist specially trained in using a multisensory, structured language approach.

Book a dyslexia assessment with us

Tomlinson Optometrists is now registered with the Stark Griffin Dyslexia Academy to do accredited dyslexia assessments. Book a dyslexia assessment for your child at the details below.

Get in touch with us on WhatsApp:

Book an appointment online:

Phone 021 797 7291, email or visit us at 278B Main Road, Kenilworth.

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