The International Dyslexia Association defines dyslexia the following way:
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. (Adopted by the International Dyslexia Association Board of Directors, November 12, 2002)
Texas Education Code (TEC) §38.003 defines dyslexia in the following way:
(1) “Dyslexia” means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and sociocultural opportunity.
(2) “Related disorders” include disorders similar to or related to dyslexia such as developmental auditory imperceptions, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability.
- Poor oral reading fluency and decoding skills
- Difficulty reading words in isolation
- Difficulty spelling
- Difficulty reading the “little” words (sight words such as, of, was, when)
- Reversal of letters and numbers: Students often reverse letters through second grade. After that, this could be a red flag. Remediation and reteaching should be tried before a Dyslexia assessment.
-Dyslexia is not a vision problem and cannot be remediated through vision therapy and colored overlays.
-Dyslexia can’t be “cured” because it is not a disease. A highly qualified professinal or reading specialist can provide specific interventions to help the student with Dyslexia.
-Dyslexia is a neurological disorder and cannot be changed with medication.
What should I do if I suspect my child has Dyslexia?
- Contact your child’s teacher to set up a conference to discuss your concerns.
How can I help my child at home?
- Read with your child every night for at least 15 minutes. Engage them in conversation about what’s happening in the book. Ask them questions about what they think might happen next. Talk about any difficult words they come to. Take turns reading short sections of the text with your child to decrease their frustration level.
-Practice sight words and phonics skills they are working on in class. If unsure, contact the teacher to see exactly what skills are being taught at that time.
-Spell words using magnetic letters, sidewalk chalk, shaving cream and playdoh. These are hands on, engaging ways to practice their words without pencil/paper.