Are you one of those that find reading very difficult, if not nigh on impossible? For many of us it isn’t a matter of intelligence or having not received adequate schooling – it is because we are dyslexic. However getting diagnosed as dyslexic can be difficult, and at the moment it is a far from an exact science. Even then it won’t necessarily cure your reading problem.*
The tests for dyslexia involve judging whether a person’s reading ability compares with their other abilities for their age and intelligence. Once intellectual, emotional and cultural causes have been ruled out, those facing reading difficulties are often thought of as having dyslexia.
Some experts now believe it might be possible to develop a physical test to diagnose dyslexia more positively.
Tracking eye movements show discrepancies between the way dyslexics and non-dyslexics view a page. It is known that dyslexics have problems controlling their eye movements. Therefore they process visual information in a very different way from non-dyslexics. When the eyes do not travel at the same speed or direction as each other they create unusual and confusing words for us. Also meaning that we may completely miss some words altogether.
Dyslexics often process written and spoken language differently. We are usually not aware of separate sounds in words (lack of phonological awareness) and may not perceive the symbols (letters) that make up words on a page as real or meaningful (visual processing difficulty). Even dyslexics who are good at reading may have difficulty with small confusable words. Dyslexics are often visual thinkers and need to link words to images to make them memorable.
We dyslexics often have problems tracking print and reading black print
on a white page.
It is important to diagnose dyslexia early in a child’s school life so they can receive appropriate help with their learning & treatment to enable them to progress and not fall behind. The earlier teachers can address a dyslexic’s needs the better the outcome, in terms of reading skills. If children who are dyslexic receive help by the age of nine, they will have significantly fewer problems and are enabled to catch up quicker, than children who are not identified or helped until they are mid-late teens.
The multi-sensory approach Dyslexics benefit from a different approach to learning.
Dyslexics tend to be visual thinkers and respond well to multi-sensory teaching methods. This means that children are taught the links between what they see and what they hear and feel. So when they are taught to recognise new letters, they need this to be reinforced by being taught the phonetic sounds associated with it, and learning and tracing its shape accurately, at the same time.
Failure to recognise dyslexia early enough, and tailor learning to the condition can lead to children not realising their full intellectual potential. A reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
*Knowing you have or being diagnosed with dyslexia will not sort your reading issues, however the ALC team can help you do this – speak to them now to get ahead!