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Dyslexia & Reading Problems

Developmental dyslexia is a condition related to poor reading. Children with dyslexia have difficulty learning to read due to one or more information processing problems such as visual perceptual or auditory perceptual deficits. Many but not all children with dyslexia have difficulty with reversals of numbers, letters or words. New research points the way to specific methods of instruction that can help anyone learn to read well no matter what the underlying problem may be. Following the links will provide interesting new information as well as extremely effective solutions for all types of reading problems including developmental dyslexia.

What is dyslexia?
Children who have an average or above IQ and are reading 1 1/2 grades or more below grade level may be dyslexic. True dyslexia affects about 3 to 6 percent of the population yet in some parts of the country up to 50% of the students are not reading at grade level. This means that the reason for most children not reading at grade level is ineffective reading instruction. The dyslexic child often suffers from having a specific learning disability as well as being exposed to ineffective instruction.

Children may have dyslexia or a learning disability if they have one or more of the following symptoms:
• Letter or word reversals when reading. (Such as was/saw, b/d, p/q).
• Letter or word reversals when writing.
• Difficulty repeating what is said to them.
• Poor handwriting or printing ability.
• Poor drawing ability.
• Reversing letters or words when spelling words that are presented orally.
• Difficulty comprehending written or spoken directions.
• Difficulty with right - left directionality.
• Difficulty understanding or remembering what is said to them.
• Difficulty understanding or remembering what they have just read.
• Difficulty putting their thoughts on paper.

Children with dyslexia do not exhibit these symptoms due to poor vision or hearing but because of brain dysfunction. The eyes and ears are working properly but the lower centers of the brain scramble the images or sounds before they reach the higher (more intelligent) centers of the brain. This causes confusion as well as frustration for the learner.

When a child is having difficulty learning, a comprehensive neurodevelopmental exam is important. This includes testing of hearing, vision, neurological development, coordination, visual perception, auditory perception, intelligence, and academic achievement.

Often, perception problems can be helped with simple exercises which either help to improve a specific problem or teach techniques to compensate for a problem. These often can be done at home. In a few cases, a referral to an educational or speech therapist may be helpful.