Dyslexia (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

What type of treatment is available for dyslexia?

Before any treatment is started, an evaluation must be done to determine the child's specific area of disability. While there are many theories about successful treatment for dyslexia, there is no actual cure for it. The school will develop a plan with the parent to meet the child's needs. If the child's current school is unprepared to address this condition, the child will need to be transferred to a school, if available in the area, which can appropriately educate the dyslexic child. The plan maybe implemented in a special education setting or in the regular classroom. An appropriate treatment plan will focus on strengthening the child's weaknesses while utilizing the strengths. A direct approach may include a systematic study of phonics. Techniques designed to help all the senses work together efficiently can also be used. Specific reading approaches that require a child to hear, see, say, and do something (multisensory), such as the Slingerland Method, the Orton-Gillingham Method, or Project READ can be used. Computers are powerful tools for these children and should be utilized as much as possible. The child should be taught compensation and coping skills. Attention should be given to optimum learning conditions and alternative avenues for student performance.

In addition to what the school has to offer, there are alternative treatment options available outside the school setting. Although alternative treatments are commonly recommended, there is limited research supporting the effectiveness of these treatments. In addition, many of these treatments are very costly, and it may be easy for frustrated parents to be misled by something that is expensive and sounds attractive.

Perhaps the most important aspect of any treatment plan is attitude. Children will be influenced by the attitudes of the adults around them. Dyslexia should not become an excuse for a child to avoid written work. Because the academic demands on a child with dyslexia may be great and the child may tire easily, work increments should be broken down into appropriate chunks. Frequent breaks should be built into class and homework time. Reinforcement should be given for efforts as well as achievements. Alternatives to traditional written assignments should be explored and utilized. Teachers are learning to deliver information to students in a variety of ways that are not only more interesting but helpful to students who may learn best by different techniques.Interactive technology is providing interesting ways for students to get feedback on what they have learned, in contrast to traditional paper-pencil tasks.

For further information regarding dyslexia, ask your child's pediatrician for assistance, contact your local public school district office, or one of the following:

Dyslexia Institutes of America

Learning Disabilities Association of America

Council for Exceptional Children

Learning Disabilities Online.org.

Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American Board of Surgery

REFERENCE:

"Specific learning disabilities in children: Clinical features"
uptodate.com


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/26/2015

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Dyslexia - Describe Your Symptoms Question: Please describe the symptoms you or your child experienced with dyslexia.
Dyslexia - Diagnosis Question: How was your dyslexia diagnosed?
Dyslexia - Causes Question: What was the cause of your dyslexia?
Dyslexia - Personal Experience Question: Do you or your child have dyslexia? Please describe what it's like and how you cope.
Dyslexia - Treatment Question: What educational methods or approaches have you or your child used to deal with dyslexia?