Four Things Parents Should Do to Help a Child with Dyslexia

Dyslexia has no cure but there are effective approaches in your child’s educational process.

Dyslexia has no cure but there are effective approaches in your child’s educational process.

by Dr. Joseph Sirven -

Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disorders that can lead to problems with education, but if identified early, academic concerns can be potentially averted.

What to do:

1. Address the problem early. If your child has dyslexia, talk to your doctor and get your child evaluated.

2. Read aloud to your child, preferably before the age of six months.

3. Work with your child’s school. According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education act (IDEA) passed by the U. S. Congress in 1990, all schools have a legal obligation to take steps to help your child diagnosed with dyslexia learn. Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs) are constructed in consultation with you the parents, your child’s educational team, and healthcare team to outline your child’s particular needs and how the school will help him or her succeed.

4. Be Involved. Family involvement is central to the child’s success. Talk to your child and be supportive. Take steps to help your child learn at home, which should include a designated place to study and a routine study time. Stay in close contact with your child’s teachers. Join a support group if you feel isolated.

Things You May Want to Know About Dyslexia:

1. Dyslexia occurs in children with normal vision and most importantly, normal intelligence.

2. Dyslexia is common. According to the CDC, dyslexia is estimated to occur in 6 percent of all U.S. children.  What is important to note is that this number has increased by 17 percent; that’s almost 1.8 million more children affected compared to a decade earlier. Some of this increase is due to other conditions that often occur with dyslexia, such as hearing loss, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other conditions.

3. All children can be at risk for dyslexia.  However, a 2011 study from the National Center on Birth defects and developmental disabilities published in the journal Pediatrics found that boys have twice the rate of any developmental/learning disability than girls.

4. It’s more common among economically disadvantaged students. Moreover, kids whose families are below the federal poverty line or have a low birth weight are often at a higher risk for the development of learning disorders.

5.   Dyslexia’s symptoms vary by the age at which it is detected. Before schooling begins, children may talk late, learn slowly, and have difficulty rhyming.  In school, children may be reading a level below their expected level, have problems processing and understanding what they hear, difficulty understanding rapid instructions, problems remembering sequences or following more than one command at a time; not see and hear the similarities and differences in words; problems with spelling, trouble learning a new language; or seeing letters or words in reverse.  When diagnosed in teens and adults, dyslexia presents with difficulty reading to oneself or others, inability to summarize a story, or difficulty memorizing.

Read more at things to know about dyslexia.

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