Does your student struggle academically? If they are taking a long time
to read, do their homework or keep up in class they may have dyslexia.
Dyslexia is a very common learning disorder which makes it difficult for
students to read, interpret words and recognize symbols. Some students
may be able to read, but won’t be able to make sense of what they
are reading or remember facts they have read. Other students may feel
physically ill when they read with symptoms ranging from headaches to nausea.
As you can imagine, these symptoms can make it very difficult for dyslexic
students to cope in a classroom situation. Luckily, there is much that
can be done to overcome this learning disability. Your student’s
brain is simply wired differently and once you understand how to present
information in a way that makes sense to them, you will be able to help
them to communicate effectively and keep up in class. Early detection
means you can get your student the help they need as soon as possible.
Here are some of the main telltale signs:
Late talkers: Most dyslexic students will have had a delay in learning speech. Of course
they will master this eventually, but they will still mix up words or
sounds and may use the wrong words in sentences. They may have speech
impediments which especially affect the way they pronounce R’s,
L’s, Ms and Ns.
Switching the order of numbers and letters: All children will mix up numbers and letter when they are in kindergarten
or in the lower grades. But with dyslexic students this problem persists
well past the first two grades. If you notice that your student is having
real trouble reading, you may want to get them assessed.
Dyslexic students may also experience trouble learning the order of letters
in the alphabet or being able to count correctly. They may experience
trouble learning to spell correctly.
Dyslexia also affects the student’s ability to recognize symbols
and numbers. This means that your student will have trouble solving rudimentary
Copying: Students who are dyslexic find it difficult to copy written text from
books or from the board.
Dominance: Dyslexic students often use both hands interchangeably and take a long
time to settle on a dominant side. This means that they will have trouble
telling left from right and may have poor coordination. This can translate
into poor handwriting too.
It can be very frustrating for you as a parent to see your student excelling
in most areas, but falling behind in classes that involve reading or math.
You know that they are smart, but if they just can’t seem to keep
up and display signs of dyslexia, get them assessed by a developmental
psychologist. Not only can they offer a diagnosis, they can also help
you and your student to overcome their learning disorder and excel academically.