My Child Struggles to Read, is That Dyslexia?
Reading fluency and reading comprehension difficulties are concerning given reading is the foundation to learning not just impacting language arts but subjects like math, science and social studies.
When discussing a child’s reading difficulties with parents, I often get the question, “Does my child have dyslexia?”.
It’s important to understand that dyslexia simply means that a child or adult struggles with reading fluency and decoding. They may also struggle with reading comprehension, spelling and writing. Experts believe somewhere between 5-15% of individuals have dyslexia.
So how do I help my child if they are dyslexic?
The good news is that the root cause of dyslexia can be addressed. Symptoms of dyslexia -- reading fluency and reading comprehension – typically manifest as cognitive skill weaknesses. In the past few years, we have worked with over 2,400 individuals diagnosed with dyslexia and the cognitive profile is predictable. Individuals with dyslexia typically have weaknesses in critical cognitive skills like long-term memory, visual processing and auditory processing. These skills are the foundation enabling effective reading and reading comprehension.
Auditory processing – also referred to as phonemic awareness – is our mind’s ability to manipulate and segment sounds and is the phonetic component to reading. When this skill is lacking individuals have difficulty blending sounds and decoding.
Long-term memory and visual processing are similar as they enable word recognition. For example, when a young child is tasked with learning sight words like was, there, then, etc., if these skills are low they do not quickly recognize these common words impacting reading fluency. Then as they age, they are expected to read non-phonetic words like “laugh” or “precious”. Unfortunately, the spelling of these words doesn’t make much sense and requires strong memory and visual memory to recall.
The good news for a child diagnosed with dyslexia, or a child not diagnosed but who struggles with reading fluency and comprehension, is that these common cognitive skill weaknesses can be addressed and strengthened to remove the obstacles to effective reading.
At LearningRx, our average gain in auditory processing for individuals diagnosed with dyslexia is 5.6 years and our average gain in word attack (which demonstrates the ability to decode) is 3.5 years! Why do we have such strong success in these areas? Because we are able to identify the root cause of the reading difficulty and through training remove or minimize the obstacles to reading enabling a child’s reading to flourish.
If you have a child with dyslexia or suspect they may be dyslexic, do not wait to contact us. The first step is to schedule in initial standardized assessment. If you call and mention this article, you will receive $100 off the standard assessment price of $199. The assessment will identify the root cause of your child’s struggles with reading fluency and reading comprehension and, more importantly, get him on the road to greater reading success!