Dyslexia is a disorder associated with reading skills. Due to problems with certain mental functions that should be involved in the formation of such skills, a child can experience a variety of difficulties when working with text.
Most often, it is difficult to recognize individual symbols, signs and as a result, the meaning of words, phrases or sentences is not caught or is distorted.
The problem manifests itself from childhood and, with proper correction, can be leveled to a level that allows to live comfortably and learn effectively.
At the same time, it is important to understand that dyslexia does not in itself determine the development of a child – he can effectively perceive information thanks to other channels, for example, to understand well by ear.
Why dyslexia occurs?
Basically, the causes of dyslexia are neurobiological in nature. This is important for understanding, because often from ignorance, parents and teachers write off difficulties with reading as “laziness” or “inattention” of the child, only by starting the situation.
But with such a deviation, certain areas of the brain are less active, and also have a reduced density.
Additional causes of dyslexia
- Disorders that affect the balance between the two hemispheres of the brain;
- Serious, severe infections affecting the brain – the most common example is meningitis
- Traumatic brain injury
- Complications during childbirth and pregnancy: from infections to fetal asphyxia. During pregnancy, the mother’s bad habits also worsen the situation: smoking, drinking alcohol, and also drugs.
The symptoms of dyslexia can appear both from too much study load, and from neglect – a complete ignorance of the child’s development.
With isolation, lack of communication, not a very good environment, the situation only gets worse.
Note that dyslexia is not necessarily a disease of disadvantaged children. For purely biological reasons, it can manifest itself in children who live in excellent conditions and receive enough attention from adults.
Types of dyslexia
Before describing the specific symptoms of the disease, there are six types of dyslexia at the moment:
- Phonemic (acoustic): According to the classification, dyslexia is the most common problem that often occurs in primary school students. With such a problem, the guys rearrange the syllables, distort the structure of the word – for example, instead of “cat” they read “tok”.
- Agrammatic: Assumes mistakes in the composition of constructions, for example, a person may incorrectly use endings, cases, tenses (“white table”, “I am hungry”).
- Semantic: Each word that a person reads, he understands, but separately from the entire text. He cannot assemble words into sentences or into other, even more complex constructions. Therefore, it is impossible to grasp the meaning of what has been read. For this reason, dyslexia in adults and children does not allow getting enough information from books.
- Mnestic: This is a problem at the level of individual letters and sounds, which do not allow you to assimilate or understand the whole word.
- Optical: Here deviations occur at the visual level. For example, a dyslexic sees a word backwards (mirrored) or cannot keep his gaze on the line he is reading – his eyes constantly slide over the page, not allowing him to adhere to the desired reading sequence.
- Tactile: Specific dyslexia is characteristic of people who cannot see and use Braille to read. With this deviation, the letters, determined by touch, are either perceived incorrectly (they are confused with similar ones), or “slip away” – the person cannot stay on the desired line.
With these types of dyslexia, the symptoms of the disease will be extremely varied and ambiguous.
Symptoms by age
To detect dyslexia, it is necessary to know the full range of signs characteristic of this disease. There are difficulties here, because there are a lot of manifestations, also many of them differ in age.
Common symptoms of dyslexia:
- problems with concentration, attention and memory;
- difficulties with orientation in space – for example, when the child confuses right and left, up and down;
- difficulties with simple and more complex tasks: from fulfilling an elementary request – to learning the alphabet, the multiplication table;
- changes in the sequence of letters, syllables, numbers when writing, reading information;
- inability to cope well with pens, pencils, etc. If the child needs to write something, he clumsily uses the writing tool;
- unwillingness to read aloud, write, etc. Actions that are very difficult or in which later many mistakes are found cause psychological discomfort in children.
Even some of these signs are a reason to go to the doctor and begin to deal with the situation. At the same time, it is very important for parents not to scold the child, not to put pressure on him, forcing him to do what he cannot do. A softer and more balanced approach is needed here.
In preschool age, the disease manifests itself as problems in speech, difficulties in learning, pronunciation of different words. The child is often confused, does not remember even a short set of phrases. It is difficult for him to master the basic skills of reading, writing, he confuses words and letters. All this can easily affect the quality of communication with classmates, peers – it becomes worse.
In primary school age, problems are manifested not only at the level of words and syllables. It is already difficult for a child to memorize facts, he is confused in arithmetic signs. The state is reflected in the development of new information. Problems of a different nature also continue: behavior becomes awkward, impulsive, coordination of movements is impaired.
In middle school age, the diagnosis of dyslexia shows poor reading quality, weak memory. The child also reads poorly, pronounces words. Difficulties cause rebellion, so the student refuses to read and write, he has difficulties with gestures, facial expressions, and problems increase when communicating with peers.
In senior school age, problems remain with writing, reading, memorizing, and reproducing information. A slow speed of work is formed, from which it seems that the teenager is “lazy”. Moreover, the problem spreads further – dyslexics often find it difficult to adapt to any changes in life.
Symptoms of dyslexia in adults suggest problems with writing and reading, with added distraction, inattention. An adult with such a disease often does not know how to plan his time – the quality of life decreases.
To diagnose dyslexia, a child is tested using a variety of exercises. The specialist checks the characteristics of long-term and short-term memory, ability to analyze, the level of concentration, attention, logic, intelligence, etc.
An important part of the work is a psychological examination – the symptoms of dyslexia are very diverse and require a personal approach.
Treatment, correction of dyslexia
Defectologists and neuropsychiatric doctors can diagnose dyslexia. A speech therapist can also be sent for additional examination, to whom parents often turn if they notice problems with speech or reading in a child.
Experts say that no two dyslexics are alike – therefore, the treatment of dyslexia is individual. Often, difficulties remain with a person for life – and then it is important to understand how to improve its quality, how to help a child cope with basic life tasks. In other situations, a fairly high-quality correction is possible. For these purposes, a special speech therapy program is selected. It is based on the type of dyslexia, the person’s age, as well as his personal characteristics.
However, it is important to note that drug treatment for dyslexia remains questionable at the moment.
As soon as a child has problems with reading, writing, memorizing and other important functions, it is necessary to immediately contact a speech therapist, as well as provide him with a comfortable learning environment, start using the exercises recommended by the speech therapist.
Educational games, emphasis on visual information in childhood, comprehensive (but not exhausting) attention from adults – all this will be a good prevention of the disease.
Can dyslexia be completely cured?
It all depends on the specific situation. Sometimes it is possible to correct the problem to such an extent that it does not affect later life. But it’s important to get started on time.
Who Treats Dyslexia?
We have already partially answered this question about dyslexia, what it is and how to treat it. After the diagnosis is made and other pathologies are excluded, the speech therapist is engaged in the main treatment according to a special program.
Is dyslexia always an intellectual problem?
In no case. A dyslexic child, with the right approach, can not only get a good profession but also become very successful in it. Suffice it to say that famous people like Steve Jobs, John Lennon, or billionaire Richard Branson were dyslexic.
Dyslexia is by no means a sentence, but a problem that requires careful attention from adults. If they put in the effort and give her time, the child will have a chance for a good education and a great future.