October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. Dyslexia is considered to be one of the most common reading disabilities affecting adults and children worldwide. In fact, the Dyslexia Center of Utah reports that 70-80% of people with poor reading skills are likely dyslexic.
What Is Dyslexia?
What exactly is dyslexia? The Dyslexia Resource defines dyslexia as “a language-based learning difference. It affects the organization in the brain that controls the ability to process the way language is heard, spoken, read, or spelled. Dyslexia can also manifest in difficulties with working memory, attention, and organization.” The Dyslexia Resource also states that dyslexia can be genetic and is fairly common, as it affects around 20% of the population.
How Can I Help My Child If I Think They May Be Dyslexic?
If you feel your child may be struggling with dyslexia, there are many resources to support them. The Dyslexia Resource has excellent pages on their site entitled “Before A Dyslexia Diagnosis” and “After A Dyslexia Diagnosis.” These pages provide a clear and detailed process on how to prepare for testing your child for dyslexia as well as what to do if your child is diagnosed with dyslexia. The Dyslexia Resource emphasizes that “dyslexia cannot be self-diagnosed or confirmed through online assessments. To receive help and accommodations in your child’s school, you will need to obtain an official psychoeducational evaluation.”
Misunderstandings About Dyslexia
Being diagnosed with dyslexia does NOT have anything to do with a child’s level of intelligence. Although dyslexia may cause difficulties with language-based activities, “dyslexics are not lacking in motivation or intelligence.” Therefore, do not wait to seek support for your child if you feel they may be struggling. Children may even try to hide the fact that they are experiencing difficulties. “Your child may try to hide their problem by memorizing or guessing, but frustration will continue to build, especially when schools expect their students to transition from “Learning to Read” to “Reading to Learn,” states The Dyslexia Resource.
“Getting a dyslexia diagnosis can provide understanding and comfort to both your child and you. It is the first step in getting your child the help he or she needs.”
Problems with undiagnosed dyslexia may present themselves in other ways as well. According to The Dyslexia Resource: “Undiagnosed dyslexia can manifest itself in your child in multiple ways. Common issues include anxiety, anger and frustration, social skills and behavioral issues, lack of confidence and even depression.”
Learn More About Dyslexia
The La Porte County Public Library has resources available to help students be successful, including those diagnosed with dyslexia. Read La Porte County is a free tutoring service that holds tutoring sessions at the La Porte County Public Library. Visit their website or stop by any library location to learn more!
There are also several books in our library collection written specifically for kids and families to help support their journey with dyslexia. Here are a few examples:
Understanding Dyslexia by Jessica Rusick
Mi Vida con Dislexia by Mari C. Schuh