Dyslexia Frequently Asked Questions
What does Linguaphile Skills Hub Offer for Parents?
Linguaphile Skills Hub is an Educational Management consulting organisation that focusses on providing end to end solutions for children with Special Education Needs. We review Psychologist reports (provide you contact with them if you don’t have one), understand the needs of you as a parent and that of the child, create an Individual Education Plan, provide relevant resources and offer Parent Enablement Sessions that we provide through internet sessions.
What should I do if I am concerned about my child's progress at school?
If your child is of nursery or school age then the first thing to do is to make an appointment to talk to their key worker or class teacher and the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) at their nursery or school about your concerns. Some SENCo’s may carry out some initial observations or assessments of your child. Depending on the outcome of these assessments they may suggest some support strategies for your child in school and may also have some ideas about how you can help your child at home. They may also suggest a referral to a professional such as a Paediatrician, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, or Educational Psychologist.
You can also call us at Linguaphile Skills Hub to discuss with us your concerns and ask any questions you may have about the services we offer and the costs involved.
Do I need to let the school know that my child is going to see an independent professional?
It can be challenging to get an all round picture of how your child’s development socially, emotionally, and cognitively without information from people who work with your child in their learning environment. So yes, it is important that your child’s learning environment knows about your concerns and that you are consulting an independent professional for advice. However it is quite normal for parents and the school to have a slightly different view about how a child is progressing or coping in their learning environment. For various reasons you may not want to inform the school that this independent assessment is taking place. We will respect your views and it is your choice whether to inform the school or not but we hope you understand that part of our role is to ensure that your child’s well being and development is supported in their learning environment.
Why would a child need assessment by Educational Psychologist?
Children development happens at different pace, hence some children may find some things particularly difficult such as reading, spelling, writing, mathematics, motor coordination, speech and language, friendships, home work and so on.
What are common signs and symptoms of dyslexia?
Aside from difficulty with pre-literacy learning like rhyming and letter recognition, the most common sign is when a child fails to learn to read and this failure is unexpected based on his or her other abilities. Letter and number reversals past age 7 or 8 are a common warning sign. Dyslexics may also experience hardship copying from the board or a book and they may exhibit disorganization in their writing. Children with dyslexia may also appear uncoordinated and have difficulty in an organized-game setting. Symptoms may also manifest in auditory problems—the dyslexic may not be able to remember all of what he or she hears, especially sequences or multi-faceted commands. Oftentimes, the dyslexic may speak missing parts of words or sentences or use the wrong word entirely. Dyslexics have normal intelligence and often know what they want to say but have trouble actually saying it. There are also emotional symptoms. The child may become embarrassed, lose his or her interest in school, and appear lazy when in fact this is a symptom of not wanting to fail. Any of these symptoms may be present in various levels of severity. The variance in signs and symptoms is the reason why many children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities are never diagnosed. Some common symptom examples are:
Difficulty understanding the individual sounds in words
Difficulty remembering words
Spoken language difficutlies, but good understanding (comprehension) of oral language
Reversal of letters and numerical sequences
Flipping letters and numbers and/or writing them backwards past the age of 7 or 8
Not seeing or acknowledging punctuation in written text
Difficulty reading different styles of type
Omission of words while reading
Confusion about directions in space or time
Inconsistencies between potential and performance
Difficulty telling time
What causes dyslexia?
The causes of dyslexia are varied and not fully established. There are two types of dyslexia—acquired and developmental. Acquired dyslexia can be caused by ear infections early in childhood that result in hearing problems. Developmental dyslexia is caused by congenital and developmental factors; scientists believe that dyslexia has a genetic component that may predispose some people for dyslexia. Although the specific causes have not been fully investigated, neurological abnormalities are introduced in the brain, which can make it difficult for the dyslexic to read and understand information.
How is dyslexia diagnosed?
Dyslexia can be difficult to diagnose, but an early sign is that a child is not learning to read as would be expected. Language difficulties can be early indicators. The basic procedure is to gauge an individual's strengths and weaknesses in oral language, reading, spelling, and writing through standardized tests or non-standardized assessments. A child who is not performing at his or her level in spite of proper instruction may be dyslexic. Other tests examine the steps of the reading process to further determine where the strengths and weaknesses lie and where to begin remediation. It is important to determine how one processes or understands information both orally and in text, as well as how he or she expresses information verbally and in writing. Some of the common tests administered are:
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Third Edition (WISC-III)
Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (KABC)
Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery
Peabody Individual Achievement Tests-Revised (PIAT)
Wechsler Individual Achievement Tests (WIAT)
Kaufman Tests of Educational Achievement (KTEA)
Bender Gestalt Test of Visual Motor Perception
Beery Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration
Motor-Free Visual Perception Test
Visual Aural Digit Span Test (VADS)
Test of Auditory Perception (TAPS)
Test of Visual Perception (TVPS)
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised
Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test
Test for Auditory Comprehension of Language
Is there a “cure” for dyslexia?
There is no cure because dyslexia is not a disease. With support, proper instruction, and hard work, many people with dyslexia are able to succeed academically and in their later lives. Dyslexia is a life-long condition, but intervention can have a positive effect on a person’s symptoms and outcomes. After an evaluation determines the specific area of difficulty and disability, it is very important that the child’s school and/or instructor are prepared to help implement a specific plan for intervention. There are many specific reading approaches that rely on a multisensory experience to strengthen the child’s weaknesses while using his/her strengths.
My child didn't have problems learning to talk; why is learning to read hard?
Talking, or oral language as we speech-language pathologists refer to it, is innate to humans as a species. We have the natural capabilities to understand and use language. Reading, on the other hand, is a cultural phenomenon (there are still societies today who exist with a purely oral tradition), and therefore it is not innate to a child's biological makeup. Without the development of written language, dyslexia would not exist.
Is it ever too late to get help for dyslexia?
No. Dyslexics can be taught strategies that can be applied throughout the lifetime. Programs involving multisensory structured language techniques have been shown to help adults as well as children. Early intervention is better, but intervention at any time can be effective.
How will my child succeed if he can't read?
First of all, with a systematic treatment approach your child will learn to read -- most dyslexics do. There are many successful dyslexics in the world! To quote acclaimed dyslexic sculptor Malcolm Alexander "Find what you do best and forget about the rest." In addition to a good intervention program, your child's strengths, talents, and interests need to be fostered. Successful dyslexics talk about finding their gift and pursuing it. It is in that context that many learned to read.
How can I start to get help and where do I go to get help?
Present concerns to your child’s physician or teachers or contact us. We have global experience of working with children who have Special Education Needs.
What type of reading program should I enroll my child in for his/her dyslexia?
If your child has already been diagnosed with dyslexia and is receiving intervention, talking with the professional (e.g., physician, reading specialist, language clinician, teacher, etc.) is ideal. They will have information about the programs and will be able to guide you toward making the right choice for you or your child. There are many different kinds of programs that may or may not target what best fits your needs
How long will my child need therapy for his/her dyslexia?
This is a difficult question to answer since everyone develops and learns at his/her own pace. You are best advised to talk with your professional about duration of therapy and how your child is responding to intervention and achieving goals. The professional will provide you with an update of prgoress based on data from the therapy sessions.
Depending on your child's age, grade, success in school, interests and desires, etc., the amount of therapy could vary. Intensive sessions may be the best way to learn a new set of skills, and then perhaps a period of less intensity for monitoring the use of those new skills. Once new skills are mastered and your child is meeting with success, the clinician may recommend taking a break.
We know that language, reading, and writing demands change as we age, and particularly while your child advances through school. Therefore, the need for therapy changes. We also know that dyslexia is lifelong. A skilled clinician can help you balance the amount and type of therapy your child needs.
What is the difference between a reading disability and dyslexia?
There may be no difference at all. Some children may miss an important window for the development of their reading skills, and if they haven't fallen too far behind, with proper instruction can "catch up." Whereas, dyslexia manifests itself due to differences in the brain, specifically in processing phonological information; and it is lifelong.
When you go to seek help for a “reading problem”, depending on who does the diagnosis and in what context, you could walk away with a diagnosis of either dyslexia or reading disability for the very same behaviors or symptoms. In the public schools reading disability is diagnosed as a specific learning disability in written word decoding, reading comprehension, and/or written expression. In the context of a clinical practice, professionals diagnose a reading problem as dyslexia if the behaviors meet the definition.
Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability and is defined as “… a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by the 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.” (Lyon, Shaywitz, & Shaywitz, 2003, Annals of Dyslexia, p. 2)
When would my child need an assessment by a Speech and Language Therapist?
As children learn to talk at different pace, some children develop more quickly than others. We do know however that there are 'typical' ages by which we expect children to have developed certain skills, and most children do. However there are some children that do struggle with learning to talk and understand and they will need extra help to support development. If you are concerned about the way your child is talking or understanding, ask for a Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) assessment. This assessment will tell you exactly how your child is getting on and if there is a reason to be concerned.