Early Signs of Dyslexia
What are the early signs of dyslexia?
You know, they say that any condition caught early enough has a much higher treatment success rate than those conditions allowed to progress without any type of intervention.
So what should a parent look for in their child to determine if further evaluation is warranted?
One of my sons had learning difficulties, and I, like so many other parents, was assured he would just "grow out of it".
It didn't happen.
Now, I am a strong proponent of early intervention because I know that educational therapy can make a huge difference in the life of the dyslexic child, as well as positively impacting the entire family!
Let's look at some of the signs of dyslexia that will probably display in your day to day interactions with your child. I encourage you to become a detective of sorts, and keenly observe your son or daughter. My son had nearly all of the following signs.
Although the signs of dyslexia will vary some according to age, here are several of the early signs of dyslexia which you are likely to notice if you are looking for them:
- Difficulty tying shoelaces (or other fine motor activity)
- Trouble remembering the days of the week or the months of the year in order (sequential struggles)
- Pronouncing words incorrectly
(or using them in odd places in a sentence - i.e., the wrong part of speech)
- Ignoring or misunderstanding directions
- Difficulty remembering more than one instruction at a time
For example, if you ask your child to "go to the bathroom closet, get a washcloth and wipe off the counter" - the likelihood of completing the tasks will be highly unlikely)
- Organizational difficulties
- Communication struggles
(Includes finding the right word or making oneself understood; these children may be easily frustrated with frequent meltdowns)
As you can see by the above list, you don't have to wait until a child has struggled for several years in school before realizing that he or she may have a problem with dyslexia.
If you suspect a problem, professional testing is recommended. The WISC-IV Test can be given to a child as early as age 6. An educational psychologist is one of the best individuals to assess your child. Solid and accurate information about your child's learning strengths and weaknesses can be very helpful in determining what type of intervention you may pursue.
The early signs of dyslexia may actually be a blessing if you decide to seek support. Years of failure = low self esteem, and reversal of that self image will take time. Time is of the essence for the child with learning problems.