How to Spot Dyslexia in a Child?

Dyslexia is a type of learning disability.
Dyslexia is a type of learning disability.

If your child had a low weight at birth or was a premature baby or if you were exposed to cigarette smoke or alcohol or had an infection during your pregnancy, your child may be at a slightly higher risk of dyslexia. In that case, you must be on the lookout for red flags of dyslexia in your child. These are as follows:

  • The child starts talking late
  • The child learns new words very slowly
  • The child cannot pronounce the sounds well
  • The child gets the letters that sound similar (Sa-, Sha-, Cha-) mixed up

It is often difficult to spot dyslexia in a child before they start attending school. A vigilant teacher may spot the inability of the child to recite nursery rhymes and the difficulty the child's faces while pronouncing words.

When the child starts writing alphabets, persistent mirror image writing, that is, writing the letters B, D, and R as a mirror image of itself may be a warning sign.

Kindergarten children with dyslexia often have trouble playing rhyming games, remembering or naming letters, numbers, and colors, reading and spelling. They read very slowly and make a lot of mistakes while reading books. They often guess at sounding out the words they do not know. Often, they are dreamers who do not like sitting in class.

They are poor at naming the objects. For example, they may not be able to name a clock, but if you ask them to point at a clock, they will do it easily.

Older children often fare poorly in school and may suffer from anxiety, low self-esteem, and depression.

What tests will a doctor conduct to diagnose dyslexia?

Timely diagnosis of dyslexia will help in initiating a customized learning method for your child. The educators may explore other areas where your child exceeds such as painting, arts, and theatre, and nurture their potentials accordingly. The following tests check for any problems in the following areas:

  • IQ tests: IQ means “intelligence quotient.” A set of various tests measure how well the child comprehends and solves problems and understands spoken and unspoken cues. It might point to the extent of dyslexia.
  • Vision: A lot of reading difficulties may be due to childhood myopia (nearsightedness). Diagnosing and ruling it out early is very important.
  • Various tests for hearing and speech will be conducted to rule out the other causes of poor academic performance.
  • Motor skills: These tests check how well a child can move large muscles (such as in the legs and arms) and small muscles (such as in the fingers). Often children with dyslexia have difficulty with fine motor skills such as coloring and tying shoelaces. They may keep stumbling and falling while climbing stairs and running.

Is dyslexia curable?

Dyslexia is not curable, but its issues can be managed by special learning plans called Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

In the United States, schools have a legal obligation to provide help to children diagnosed with dyslexia. An IEP is a structured, customized plan specific to your child’s needs. The plans encourage learning through pictures and reading out loud to improve fluency in language and understanding phonetics better. Teachers give the child tips on how to remember things or help them stay organized. Children with learning disabilities might be given extra time to solve problems or take tests. The earlier your child gets tested and treated for learning disabilities, the better they will cope with their issues to perform better in school in the future.


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