Early intervention key to help child deal with dyslexia issues
The Dyslexia Association of Ireland defines dyslexia as a specific learning difficulty affecting the acquisition of fluent and accurate reading and spelling skills.
This occurs despite access to appropriate learning opportunities.
Dyslexia is characterised by cognitive difficulties in (1) phonological processing, (2) working memory, and (3) speed of retrieval of information from long term memory.
Dyslexic difficulties occur on a continuum from mild to severe and affect approximately 10% of the population.
People with dyslexia may experience greater stress and frustration as they endeavour to learn, resulting in heightened anxiety, particularly in relation to literacy acquisition.
People with dyslexia may also have accompanying learning strengths. (www.dyslexia.ie) Throughout my teaching career I have witnessed a number of children struggle with dyslexia.
Most schools do not like to begin assessment for dyslexia until the child reaches 2nd class as very often this is the class where children ‘catch up’ and reading ‘clicks’ and falls into place.
If it doesn’t by this stage, appropriate measures should be taken to begin accessing supports for your child.
It is important to remember that there are a number of indicators for dyslexia and it is rare that your child will display all of these.
Indicators at the early stages of play school and primary school may include, difficulty pronouncing some, especially multi-syllabic words, difficulty separating spoken words into sounds and blending spoken sounds, delayed speech, slow to develop new vocabulary, difficulty with rhyming, difficulties learning the alphabet and being unable to follow multi-step directions.
The indicators differ as the child progresses through school, but if you spot any of them just keep note in a journal so you can discuss these with your child’s teacher.
In the middle stages of primary school dyslexia may manifest itself through slow, laborious reading which seems to take a lot of effort and tires your child, difficulty remembering facts, better listening than reading comprehension and poor organisational skills. Poor handwriting skills is also a sign of dyslexia.
In the latter stages of primary school or the early stages of secondary school, dyslexia may present itself in the following ways: lack of confidence, disliking school, unable to complete homework, lack of interest in school, problems taking notes from the whiteboard and poor spelling and memorisation skills.
It is essential to seek help as early as possible (2nd class) for your child if you suspect dyslexia is present.
It can lead to very poor self confidence in a child if it is not spotted and appropriate supports are not put in place.
Early intervention is essential. Next week I will discuss how assessment of dyslexia takes place and how to access help and support for your child.
TECHNOLOGY IS ADDICTIVE, WE ALL KNOW THAT. EVEN AS ADULTS, MANY OF US FIND IT DIFFICULT TO CONTROL OUR SCREENTIME. NOW IMAGINE HOW DIFFICULT IT WOULD BE FOR A CHILD!