Signs & Symptoms
Children with dyslexia have problems learning spelling, pronouncing new words, and reading fluently. This can be a particular problem as the child gets into the upper grades as by that time, they are supposed to "read to learn" as opposed to "learn to read".
Each child is different - however, there may be difficulties with oral language (e.g. problems pronouncing words, naming objects), reading (e.g. problems learning basic phonics, remembering how letters and words are written), writing (e.g. spelling mistakes, disorganized compositions). These difficulties are persistent and hinder learning.
They may also have inconsistent work performance in school, be unable to remember directions and facts.
Some children may have associated disorders involving motor co-ordination and problems with math.
What causes it
Dyslexia may run in families. The exact cause is not yet known. There may be differences in the way the brain functions in people with dyslexia and in people without dyslexia.
About the condition
People with dyslexia have difficulties with certain language skills including reading, spelling and writing. This can give rise to academic difficulties as reading and writing are the core skills required in schools.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
This is a life long condition. However, with the proper intervention, it can be mediated. Remediation has to be very systematic and fairly intensive.
The skills required for reading, writing and spelling are taught in a very structured way and in very plain language.
Children are taught using all their senses, i.e. they see the word, hear the word, say the word and write out the word. They consistently review what they have learned.
There are specific tests to evaluate for dyslexia. These tests are best carried out by people who are qualified to do these tests.
Post Op Care/Care Tips
Parents and teachers can help by using various strategies, e.g. marking work based on content with a separate marking scheme for spelling (so that the child is not marked down purely due to poor spelling or grammar), providing vocabulary that the child may need doing a thematic composition, giving extra time for the child to complete written assessments, allowing the child to record a lecture so that he can concentrate on listening to the teacher and not worry about copying notes, provide a copy of the notes.
Give praise for the effort that the child makes and not emphasize so much on the final exam mark.
Be aware that the child may have associated feelings of depression / anxiety/ rebellion as they became aware that they are different from the other children and may find work very difficult despite their best efforts.
Encourage the child to pursue an interest that he is good at, e.g. sports or music.