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Helping Children with Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a type of learning disability. Before diagnosis, many children with dyslexia are poorly understood. Since dyslexia has nothing to do with a person's intelligence, parents of children with dyslexia are often perplexed when their child does poorly in school or struggles to read a simple book. Is the child lazy? Inattentive? Not as smart as he or she seems?

If your child has dyslexia, you have likely asked yourself these questions as you watched your child struggle to keep up with classmates. You may have also observed your child's frustration as his or her friends gain skills that are difficult for children with dyslexia to master. The good news is that today we know more than ever before about the condition and about ways to help children with dyslexia. You can make sure your child gets the help that's needed.

Child Discipline Tactics

Discipline is the process of teaching your child what type of behavior is acceptable and what type is not acceptable. In other words, discipline teaches a child to follow rules. Discipline may involve both punishment, such as a time out, and, more importantly, rewards. It sounds so straightforward, yet every parent becomes frustrated at one time or another with issues surrounding children and discipline.

What Is Dyslexia?

About 5% to 10% of all school children in the U.S. have learning disabilities. Dyslexia is the most common type. It leads to problems with reading and comprehension of written language. Since reading is a key element in learning, children with dyslexia can have trouble mastering basic skills and succeeding in school.

Children with dyslexia have problems processing the information they see when looking at a word. Often a dyslexic child will have trouble connecting the sound made by a specific letter or deciphering the sounds of all the letters together that form a word. Given these challenges, children with dyslexia often also have trouble with writing, spelling, speaking, and math.

Signs and Symptoms of Dyslexia in Children

Children with dyslexia can have mild to severe impairment. Signs of the condition vary widely from person to person. Young children with dyslexia may have the following signs and symptoms:

  • A late talker
  • Pronunciation problems
  • Difficulty rhyming words
  • Impaired ability to learn basics such as the alphabet, colors, and numbers
  • Problems with handwriting and other fine motor skills
  • Confusing letters such as "b" and "d" or the orders of letters within words
  • Trouble learning the connection between letters and their sounds

An estimated 25% of people with dyslexia also show signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

In older children or adults with dyslexia, these other signs may appear:

  • Trouble with reading, writing, and spelling
  • Ongoing trouble with schoolwork
  • Difficulty learning a foreign language
  • Poor handwriting
  • Difficulty remembering numbers
  • Trouble following a sequence of directions and telling left from right

Causes of Dyslexia

Researchers have found that dyslexia is caused by a difference in the way the dyslexic brain processes information. Experts do not know precisely what causes dyslexia, but several recent studies now indicate that genetics plays a major role. If you or your partner has dyslexia, you are more likely to have children with dyslexia. Over the next few decades, we are likely to learn much more about dyslexia and how to treat it.

WebMD Medical Reference

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