Dyslexia & Dyslexia Testing Explained
Contrary to public perception dyslexia is not a visual processing disorder but it is an auditory professing disorder. Yes, children with dyslexia reverse letters and numbers but it’s not because they see them differently. People with dyslexia reverse because they are confused with the code of language as our letters and numbers are a series of curved and straight lines. For young children with dyslexia these lines do not hold much meaning so they are difficult to remember.
In order to learn to read children must crack the code of our only 26 letters but the approximately 44 sounds they make. A child’s confusion comes in learning which letter combinations make which sounds. Here’s an example. A child with dyslexia may see the letters ild as in the word child but say illed as in billed or see tion as in the word action but say ty-on. Other children with dyslexia may hear the sound for the letter f but when spelling write the letters th or they hear the sound for j and write the letters ch. This sound and letter confusing creates frustration and makes learning to read very hard work.
Most traditional methods for teaching children to read don’t teach in a manner that is best for teaching children with dyslexia. Kids with dyslexia require a specialized reading curriculum that is multi sensory, systematic, explicit, and controlled to give ample repetition and practice for a child to learn until mastery. The two primary methods used in our area are the Lindamood Bell or Orton Gillingham curricula. These are evidence based which means independent researchers have studied them and found they are effective for producing positive results. That research is better than the just the reading publisher promoting their own results.
Surprisingly, public schools don’t test for dyslexia. We offer dyslexia testing starting at age 5.5 through young adult. Dyslexia testing identifies why your child struggles to read and the best reading curriculum to use to help. Ten different subtests are used for dyslexia testing. Most kids find the process enjoyable and it feels like school to them. Breaks are taken every 45 minutes or so. Parents receive a written report with specific recommendations.
Too many parents take a wait and hope it gets better approach and lose valuable time to significantly help their child. The younger a child is identified and given special instruction the quicker they can get to grade level. Even college students with dyslexia are eligible for accommodations such as extra time on testing, copies of notes and distraction reduced testing. An excellent book to learn more is Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz.
Contact us if you have concerns about dyslexia in your child. (561) 625-4125