Reading can open up the world to children. Through reading they can travel to other countries, discover a new hobby or get lost in an adventure. So it is incredibly difficult to watch a child struggle with reading.
When You Child Struggles
If you suspect your child is dyslexic, or is struggling with reading and/or spelling, please follow your instinct and further investigate the situation. Our mommy instincts are strong and we know our children better than anyone else. Contrary to what MANY people will tell you, waiting to see if and when your child reads is not a plan; it is considered a waiting to fail approach. While it is true that children read at all ages and stages, it is also true that fewer than 40% do not. Listen to NPR Why Millions of Kids Can’t Read. Reading does not come naturally, unlike the inborn ability to communicate with spoken language. Reading is a man-made convention of communication and it requires learning over time. For some this is a seemingly easy activity, but for others it is very hard work and many fall somewhere in between.
The Power Of Knowledge
I want to arm parents and caregivers with information as to what the next steps should be once an issue is suspect. Please learn more about Dyslexia. I recommend these research-based articles, supporting informational articles and websites, and videos to assist you as you consider your next course of action. Two of the top false beliefs about Dyslexia are that 1) Dyslexia is a vision problem and 2) writing letters backwards is a major signal of Dyslexia. Read the Top 7 Common Myths About Dyslexia. One of the truths about Dyslexia is that it is hereditary.
One quick-response inquiry you should investigate is having the student participate in an online initial screening assessment for Dyslexia through the NeuroLearning App. This screening has been created by a highly regarded doctor and research scientist in the field of Dyslexia. For a reasonable cost, in approximately one hour you will become more knowledgeable about the child’s strengths and weaknesses. Then, share these results with the next person you communicate to about the child’s needs.
What is the best approach to teach someone with Dyslexia to read? The Orton-Gillingham method of instruction will equip struggling readers, explicitly teaching the connection between letters and sounds using a multi-sensory approach. Also, studying the morphology of words is a key to word understanding, reading, and spelling. With consistent intervention for a time, Dyslexia is treatable.
(Amie has a BA in English and is earning her Masters in Reading and Dyslexia Specialist Certification)