Dyslexia in Children: Symptoms and Treatment
Dyslexia is a condition that is easy to treat, and isn't an impediment when it comes to achieving a successful professional career.
My child has dyslexia, what can I do to help? What activities are beneficial for this condition? Will it affect his or her professional future? These and many other questions come to parents’ minds. But you can relax, as dyslexia in children is a manageable condition.
Dyslexia is a condition that is easy to treat, and it isn’t an impediment when it comes to achieving a successful professional career.
If you’re already certain that your child has dyslexia, the best thing you can do is learn all you can about the condition.
Your child should also start seeing a specialist as soon as possible. Without alarm, and with patience and perseverance, your little one will be able to lead a completely normal life.
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is known as a reading disorder that only affects learning. In other words, it doesn’t affect intelligence. It’s a lifelong condition that makes reading at an optimal level impossible.
It also causes problems when it comes to writing and math. Many mistake dyslexia with vision problems when they notice a child mixing up letters or numbers.
Dyslexia is a completely individualized disorder, meaning it’s completely different in each child. This can make diagnosis a challenge. However, successful evaluation can take place in boys and girls as young as five years old.
To obtain positive results when treating this condition, it’s important to understand how the dyslexic brain works.
People with dyslexia have a hard time with phonological decodification, which consists of joining and separating words by dividing sounds and associating them with the letters that represent them. That’s why these children read at a slower pace and less fluently.
Dyslexia is a genetically inherited condition. However, it can also develop easily in children who present language delays or have suffered some sort of brain damage. It’s very common and is usually detected in school-aged children.
Signs of dyslexia in children
There are several indicators that can help you determine if your child has dyslexia. It’s generally a question of observing your little one as he or she reads and writes at home and identifying any problem.
Below are some of the most common symptoms:
This is the first sign that parents and teachers notice. It becomes apparent when children make a lot of mistakes when they start to play with syllables and words and try to associate them with the corresponding sounds and letters.
This difficulty produces multiple errors in the development of the ability to read. These errors include omissions, substitutions, inversions, rotations, and the use of additional letters.
At the same time, non-fluent reading is another sign of dyslexia. Children with dyslexia may read by syllable rather than by word, or repeat parts of the text.
They may also read slowly and have a difficult time understanding or analyzing what they’ve read. Children with this condition are often insecure and reluctant when it comes to reading out loud.
This difficulty occurs when children make mistakes while writing, such as substituting, omitting, making additions or fragmenting words.
Children with dyslexia may also have a hard time recognizing the rules of writing. They may interchange consonants that sound the same and ignore the use of uppercase letters and grammatical symbols.
Children with dyslexia usually process information better through images than through words. They feel more comfortable in an educational setting where they have plenty of visual supports, such as mental or conceptual maps and schemes.
They have a hard time making summaries because they have difficulty discerning between main ideas and secondary ideas.
In general, children with dyslexia present experience-based stress. This is because they must take on tasks that make their learning difficulty apparent to others.
They often feel inferior to their peers, have low-self esteem, and are insecure. They may also experience anxiety, behavior disorders and eating disorders.
What should I do if my child has dyslexia?
The first thing you should do if your child has dyslexia, or you suspect he or she might, is see a specialist. A specialist will provide you with recommendations so that you can accompany your child in adapting to and overcoming this condition.
Below, we’ll offer some practical and effective suggestions that you can put into practice at home.
Read with your child
It’s fundamental for children, especially small children, to read stories. This helps them learn letters little by little. When they have dyslexia, they have a harder time differentiating letters and often confuse or even forget them.
Reading with your little one by your side will give him or her the confidence to ask questions in case there are any doubts. Moderate and opportune correction is indispensable in these cases.
Hold long conversations with your child
If you hold a long conversation with your child, you can see if he or she understands and can follow along.
You can also help your child if he or she gets lost in the conversation or asks you to repeat certain words. In these moments you can correct any mispronunciation and correct your child when her or she says things incorrectly.
A specialist in this area is the only person qualified to confirm or rule out dyslexia in your child. That being said, the support of your family is of great importance for your little one.
Children with dyslexia tend to see themselves through their mistakes, so it’s important for parents to offer support and assistance to help them overcome any obstacle.