We all know that children learn and develop at their own pace, and that this is also true in their reading abilities. Some children will start to read advanced books sooner than others, while others will struggle to read very basic reading material. However, some children struggle more than most, and in some cases, it might mean they have dyslexia.
Statistically speaking, one in every five children are known to have dyslexia, as you can read here. You can also find out more about this learning disorder in the linked article, but to summarise it briefly here, know that it is a condition that makes it difficult for the person to recognize and sound out certain words when reading. It can also affect their spelling and writing ability.
So, could your child have dyslexia? If you have been concerned about their reading ability, it’s worth considering the possibility, as you will then have cause to seek the relevant support for your child.
Signs Your Child Might Have Dyslexia
Certain signs that indicate dyslexia are directly associated with words and spelling. The following might indicate that your child has this learning disorder.
- Your child’s reading ability is well below the expected level for their age.
- Your child has difficulty spelling out words.
- Your child spends an unusually long time completing tasks that require reading and writing.
- Your child avoids reading whenever you suggest it to them.
- Your child reverses certain words when reading – they might read ‘was’ as ‘saw,’ for example.
- Your child struggles to remember simple rhymes and phrases.
- Your child regularly mispronounces names and words.
- Your child becomes tired when reading.
There are other, more surprising signs that could also indicate your child might have dyslexia. These include the following:
- Your child has a speech delay.
- Your child has trouble following directions.
- Your child struggles to know the difference between left and right.
- Your child struggles to learn the rules of new games.
- Your child also struggles with maths and telling the time.
How can you help your child?
If you recognize the signs of dyslexia in your child, don’t panic. It doesn’t mean they aren’t intelligent and it doesn’t mean they can’t be helped. While dyslexia can’t be cured, your child can be helped to manage the disorder.
So, in the first instance, speak to your child’s doctor, as he or she will determine whether dyslexia is the root cause of your child’s learning issues. If they decide that yes, your child does have dyslexia, they might suggest outside help from learning professionals who will help you and your child create strategies to help them with their learning.
You should speak to your child’s school too. Chances are, your child’s teacher will have picked up on the signs of dyslexia already, but if not, you should bring it to their attention. Your child should then be given extra support in the classroom, and they might be given special tools to help them with their learning.
There is much you can do at home too. Firstly, build up your child’s self-confidence by celebrating the things they are good at, as this can help them with the emotional side of coming to terms with dyslexia. Then use those educational apps and games that can make learning fun, like those that involve audio and visual clues to words that will help your child. Purchasing an audiobook for kids with dyslexia is also a good idea, as your child will be able to build their vocabulary, get to grips with the books they need for school, and they will have the opportunity to enjoy stories that they might struggle to comprehend through reading.
Albert Einstein had dyslexia, so take comfort in that fact if you discover your child has a learning disorder. Be there to support them, and seek further advice from their doctor, their school, and any other outside agency to help your child manage this common problem.
Thanks for reading.