WHAT IS DYSLEXIA?
Dyslexia is a learning disorder affecting the areas of the brain that process language. Somebody with dyslexia will struggle to identify “speech sounds” and learn how these sounds relate to letters and words. This means they will have difficulty with reading and writing.2
Dyslexia is NOT a sign of lacking intelligence. Children with dyslexia can succeed and thrive, provided they have the right educational and emotional support.2
There isn’t any cure for dyslexia, but early diagnosis means you can give your child the support they need to flourish.2
The signs of dyslexia vary from person to person, but here is a general guideline on what to be aware of as a parent.
IN VERY YOUNG CHILDREN
At the age of 1-2 years when a child first starts to make sounds, the earliest signs of dyslexia can start to appear. A young child with dyslexia might:2,3
NB: It’s important to note that a speech delay isn’t always a sign of dyslexia, but it is a sign that you should pay close attention to your little one’s language development.3
IN SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN
The signs of dyslexia might become more obvious once your child starts school. These may include:2,3,4
Tip: When learning to write, a child with dyslexia will often put letters and numbers the wrong way round – for example, writing b instead of d or 6 instead of 9.4
Some children with dyslexia might only be diagnosed later in life. Common dyslexia symptoms in adolescents are:2,4
If you’re concerned about your child’s progress with reading and writing, or if their teacher has similar concerns, take them to your family doctor or paediatrician for a check-up. Your doctor can check for other possible underlying issues, such as vision problems or hearing impairment.4
If these issues are ruled out, your doctor (or your child’s school) can recommend a specialist like an educational psychologist. This specialist will be able to test for and diagnose dyslexia or other learning disorders.3
If your child has dyslexia, it may be necessary to create an individualised education plan for them; work closely with their teachers and therapists to put this in place and track their progress. Here are some other steps you can take to support your child and help them to build their skills:5
With proper diagnosis and support, children with dyslexia can grow up with a love of reading, writing and learning!