Dyslexia and the Dyslexic Child – What Can You Do About It?

A number of parents have asked me about what they can do for their dyslexic child so I thought I should post this…

Before I begin, I should state that I’m no expert on this subject. Neither of my boys have dyslexia and both of them are reading well thanks to an early interest in words and books, good influence (Mummy and Daddy are avid readers),  and BrillKids Little Reader.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is impaired reading ability with a competence level below that expected on the basis of the person’s level of intelligence, and in the presence of normal vision, letter recognition, and recognition of the meaning of pictures and objects.

It is important to note that individuals with dyslexia are of regular intelligence. Dyslexia is a condition that interferes with the individual’s ability to process written material, therefore it is a learning disability rather than an intellectual disability. Dyslexia affects boys more than girls and is a genetic condition that is hereditary – if you have it, there is a 40-60% likelihood that your child will develop it.

Can You Prevent Dyslexia?

When I was encouraging my boys to learn to read early with flash cards, I was warned of the possible harm I might be inflicting upon them. I think the warning went something along the lines of: “when the children are too young, teaching them to read can increase their likelihood of developing dyslexia” – or something like that. The fact that dyslexia is hereditary already debunks this misguided belief.

But what if your child has the potential for this genetic condition? There was an interesting finding that early reading might actually be able to help prevent dyslexia. If you want to reduce the likelihood of your child developing dyslexia, encouraging early literacy is a good idea. While you’re at it, you should also teach your child to read from left to right by underlining the words with your index finger as you read them.

What About Children with Dyslexia? What Can be Done About it?

Early diagnosis and early intervention are important for children with dyslexia. Specialised programs that are implemented as early as preschool show a lot of promise for the dyslexic child. The following are articles and information on programs and methods that can help children with learning disabilities:

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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