Dyslexia involves difficulty in reading. In the first instance, children who suffer from this affliction have difficulty with learning to read accurately and freely, but dyslexia is also responsible for some spin-off problems too.
Dyslexia is one the most common problems affecting learning. Unfortunately, it’s not something that children simply grow out of – it is something people will carry through life with them.
No one is sure how many children have dyslexia
It is unclear how many children have dyslexia, but it is believed to be somewhere in the region of 5% to 10%, although another swathe of opinion put the proportion of children who experience reading difficulties at 17%. The disparity of opinion is down to the fact that the exact definition of dyslexia is interpreted in different ways by various experts.
Youngsters with the affliction may experience difficulties in answering questions about what they have read. If, however, someone else reads the same passage to them, a child with dyslexia will probably have no problem fielding the right answer.
What else does dyslexia affect?
It’s not just reading accurately and fluently that dyslexia interferes with; it affects children’s development in other ways, such as:
• Comprehension of what is read
• Difficulty with spelling
• Difficulty with writing
• It can also interfere with mathematics
There is a common misunderstanding that dyslexia is caused by the way the children actually see letters. People incorrectly think that dyslexic children see letters in reverse and that they also write back to front. This is not so.
Another popular misunderstanding is that dyslexia means that a child is less intelligent. Once again, this is wrong. Kids with dyslexia are just as bright as other children, and in fact, many youngsters with dyslexia grow up and have very successful careers. You may be surprised to hear that some well-known actors, business entrepreneurs and elected politicians are dyslexic.
Although there is no magical cure for dyslexia, there are “treatments” in the form of support groups and different schooling approaches and strategies. These can all help a child to overcome the challenges brought about by dyslexia.
Other problems associated with dyslexia
A child’s development can also be hindered in other ways. Although these are not conditions of dyslexia, they can often co-exist with it. It is why it is so important to have your child fully evaluated.
• ADHD affects a child’s ability to remain focused when reading or engaging in other forms of learning.
• Some children and adults have executive functioning problems. This includes things such as organising, memorising and thinking in a flexible way.
• Another associated problem is with brain processing speed. As well as interfering with reading, this means children respond more slowly to information and instructions.
• Some children develop a condition called auditory processing disorder (APD). This results in the child not being able to separate the sounds he/she hears. It means that children with APD may not hear letter sounds correctly and they may have difficulty with articulating new words.
• Dyslexic children sometimes have visual processing difficulties. These youngsters may find that letters and words look blurred and that they move around against their background.
• There is also an associated condition known as dysgraphia. This interferes with a youngster’s ability not only to spell but to write numbers and letters down.
• Some children have difficulty with maths. This may relate to a condition known as dyscalculia, which affects the reading of numbers and makes counting difficult.
Between dyslexia and the other associated conditions, a child’s development will be profoundly affected. Any child with these difficulties will need skilful, informed parenting and specialist schooling. Fortunately, the Scanmarker Digital Highlighter can be used to help children with learning difficulties like dyslexia – find out more today!