Everything About Dyslexia

All children with dyslexia can read some.  It’s surprising for some when they learn dyslexia is more of an auditory processing problem than visual processing problem.  Kids with dyslexia often don’t discriminate sounds well.  For example, say aloud the sounds /s/, /th/, and /f/ as in the words sing, thing, finger.  Those three sounds can sound similar.  This makes spelling difficult as well as reading.  The other area that kids with dyslexia have difficulty is in learning the sound to letter relationship.  For example, if I said sounds, can you write down the letters that go with the sounds?  Many kids with dyslexia can’t do this.  Furthermore, they may have difficulty with the letter to sound relationship.  So, the child with dyslexia sees the letter but does not know what sound goes with it.  He or she relies upon visual memorization of how a word looks.  That’s why some kids say the word truck or trunk when they read the word trumpet.  They over rely upon visual cues.  These kids usually “hit the wall” by fourth grade because they can’t memorize all the new vocabulary words being introduced. 

Warning signs of dyslexia in elementary students include: slow choppy reading, difficulty remembering the sounds of words, difficulty sounding out words, and poor spelling.  Warning signs of dyslexia in older students include: unable to learn a foreign language, difficulty remembering what was read, slow reading, difficulty telling important information from unimportant details, spells poorly, and when speaking, has difficulty finding the correct word.  These warning signs do not go away and get worse with age.  Children as young as age 5 ½ can be evaluated for dyslexia. 

Dyslexic children can learn to read well if they have the correct instruction.  Unfortunately, most public schools do not teach children using Orton Gillingham materials and instead use ‘whole language’ teaching.  I can evaluate your child and let you know if he or she has dyslexia and also which reading program will work best with your child.