Each child with dyslexia has a different set of abilities and disabilities, which can range from mild to severe. A child's academic future lies in a combination of several things: the severity of dyslexia, his or her intelligence, support of family and school professionals, family resources, motivation to learn, and any associated disability, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Up to half of children with specific learning disabilities have other impairments that interfere with their schooling.4Disabilities often associated with dyslexia include ADHD, behavioral or memory problems, and difficulty using problem-solving skills to achieve a goal.
Studies that have followed children with dyslexia from kindergarten through high school show that most learn to read accurately, although they usually read at a slow rate and aren't completely fluent readers. So many teens with dyslexia may need some special assistance in the classroom.
Extra time to finish classroom assignments or tests is often needed by all children with dyslexia. Children with dyslexia also may need help managing their schedules, organizing work, and completing multiple assignments and long-term projects, especially when they reach middle school. It's also helpful to let them:
- Record lectures.
- Use audiobooks to access texts and other required readings.
- Take tests aloud or as short essays rather than as multiple choice.
- Use a laptop computer with a spelling checker.
- Take tests in a separate, quiet room.
Parents can effectively support their child if they understand dyslexia and how to deal with their child's special needs. Having dyslexia can lead to poor self-esteem, depression, or behavioral problems in some children, which can hinder their reading progress. If you think your child has self-esteem problems related to dyslexia, counseling may help.
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Will your child learn to read and succeed at school?
Typically children with dyslexia are very bright, although reading will probably continue to be a challenge throughout life. The earlier dyslexia is recognized and addressed, the greater the chance that your child will learn to read at his or her highest possible level.
Encouraging and supporting your child while staying involved in his or her education are other key factors. Helping children with coping strategies as they advance in school will also help. Although extra effort and dedication are required, often children with dyslexia are able to contend with this disability and succeed in academics and other areas.