Diagnosing Dyslexia in Children: Learning Disability Information

Learn to Spot the Signs of Dyslexia

Grandfather talking with grandson

Dyslexia is a common learning disability that makes it difficult for people to read. Most people with dyslexia have average or above average intelligence but their brains have trouble receiving, organizing, remembering or using information. Many children with dyslexia have trouble learning in school and may be anxious because of this. If you suspect that your child has dyslexia, here are some things you should know about testing and signs to help diagnose this condition:

  1. Dyslexia can affect young children in different ways. They may be slow to talk, have more difficulty adding new words to their vocabulary and have trouble following multi-part directions. You want to look for these early symptoms so you can get a diagnosis as soon as possible.
  2. Assess your child's ability to rhyme or identify words that start with the same sound. This is a common problem among people with dyslexia, since they have trouble processing the component sounds of oral language. If your child will be unable to sound out words, it could delay his or her ability to read.
  3. If your child is a little older, determine if he or she is having trouble learning to spell and read words.
  4. Look for related signs that include pronunciation, handwriting, planning and organization and math. Other symptoms can include confusing words or reversing them in sentences.
  5. Understand that dyslexia runs in families. Review your family tree to determine if anyone else has the condition. It is not unusual for several relatives to have it.
  6. Find out more about brain-imaging technology that can be used to study activity in the brain and help to show patterns that indicate dyslexia.
  7. If you suspect dyslexia, work with your child's pediatrician and school to arrange a reading evaluation, as well as psychological and educational tests that can help narrow in on the condition.
  8. When it comes to diagnosis, realize that there is no one test. Rather, there is a combination of several tests, along with a medical and family history, can help to rule out other problems and by process of elimination, can identify this condition as the likely culprit of your child's challenges.
  9. Expect that the school will work with you and your pediatrician to develop an educational plan to help retrain the way your child's brain processes sounds and words.
  10. Be prepared to offer your child extra help and support as dyslexia can make learning a variety of subjects more difficult. With early identification of the problem and treatment, these children can do very well in school.


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