What to do if my kid has dyslexia?

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    Dyslexia is a common learning disability like ADHD and affects people of all ages. Here's how to help your child overcome the challenges of dyslexia.

    Next steps if your child is diagnosed with dyslexia

    Dyslexia is a common learning disability like ADHD and affects people of all ages. However, the reading problems associated with dyslexia don’t have to hinder a child’s education. As a learning disorder, it’s not the most difficult to overcome.

    If you spend extra time taking appropriate measures to help your kid cope with everyday Dyslexia-induced child struggles, you will improve the child’s learning abilities and help them perform better at school.

    What are common signs of dyslexia?

    The common signs of dyslexia differ between age groups, but coordinating with teachers, paying attention at home, and talking to your child can help identify some signs.

    Pre-school

    Early signs that indicate a child may develop dyslexia include the following:

    • Difficulty learning new words

    • Starting to talk late

    • Reversing sounds and confusing similar words

    • Issues with remembering numbers, colors, and letters

    • Struggling to learn nursery rhymes or play word association games

    School

    Some signs of dyslexia are more pronounced in kids once they reach school age, including:

    • Reading below their expected level

    • Finding the correct words slower when forming answers

    • Processing what they hear slower

    • Difficulties remembering sequences

    • Being confused by similar letters and simple words

    • Being unable to pronounce unfamiliar words or spell words

    • Taking too long to finish tasks requiring reading and writing

    • Avoiding reading activities

    Teens and adults

    Many warning signs of dyslexia are the same for teens, adults, and school-age children. However, teens and adults may display additional signs such as:

    • Having trouble summarizing stories

    • Being unable to learn new languages

    • Struggling with math word problems

    How does dyslexia affect reading ability?

    Dyslexia is a neurobiological condition ranging from mild to severe. It can be a hereditary reading comprehension issue but doesn’t impact intelligence. It only makes it more difficult for someone to study using traditional educational tools and methods.

    It affects reading ability because it impacts the part of the brain that handles decoding and language comprehension.

    Decoding is an ability that allows people to recognize words. Language comprehension refers to a set of reading skills and processes used to understand vocabulary, language, background knowledge, pay attention, and memorize things.

    Dyslexia often directly affects the brain’s decoding function, making it challenging to develop language comprehension skills and processes.

    Health care providers to help dyslexia

    If your child received a dyslexia diagnosis after testing, it’s essential to understand that this is a lifelong disorder. It can significantly impact confidence, self-esteem, academic development, and achievement.

    As mentioned, dyslexia doesn’t affect intelligence. Therefore, your kid can still learn by compensating for the reading disability in other ways.

    The first important step is to contact a specialized health care provider like an educational psychologist or reading specialist. You must ensure that the diagnosis is correct to take appropriate action, and health care providers can offer the best guidance.

    A primary way to compensate for children, teens, and adults with dyslexia is correctly identifying the condition and implementing new educational techniques early.

    Techniques to help reading difficulties related to dyslexia

    There are several ways to address reading difficulties related to dyslexia in people of all age groups. And when it comes to kids, there are even more parents and caregivers can do to help compensate besides going through various resources.

    Enrolling kids in an individualized education plan

    Schools in the U.S. and many other countries must help children with dyslexia overcome their learning difficulties and provide emotional support.

    In the U.S., enrolling kids early in special education programs like the Individualized Education Plan or IEP is necessary. Teachers work with parents and create a detailed plan based on the child’s needs. Then, everyone can take appropriate steps to ensure the child’s success.

    Read aloud to your kid

    Reading to pre-school kids is easier than convincing older children to sit and listen. However, reading aloud makes social interactions more comfortable.

    In addition, reading aloud should make it simpler for kids to associate words and recognize them. After a while, this can become an exercise you do together.

    Text to speak technology

    Text to speech technology is one of the most helpful tools for dyslexic kids, teens, and adults. As previously highlighted, dyslexia affects the part of the brain that decodes written information, but it rarely impacts auditory word recognition.

    For that reason, kids can assimilate information much faster by accessing educational, literary, and fictional content in various audio formats.

    Text to speech technology is available in multiple languages, can narrate written content in various dialects, and enables playback speed adjustments.

    Naturally, some audiobooks can give kids access to the information they need in class, but the difference in volume between written and audio educational materials is overwhelming. Text to speech software like Speechify can completely change the game for young learners who have trouble reading.

    Available for browsers and mobile devices, Speechify can improve your child’s reading by providing an audio guide on recognizing words to prevent common poor spelling issues. It can systematically aid kids who reverse letters, even when specialized teachers are not available in public schools.

    For example, Speechify can turn hard copy documents into speech children can listen to any time and anywhere.

    If your child already has a dyslexia diagnosis and doesn’t do well in other reading programs, Speechify is a tool you might want to try. It narrates any scanned or copied written content in over 30 human-like voices. In addition, it offers fast and slow playback speeds and the ability to save and access content on multiple devices.

    Getting started with Speechify is quick and easy.

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

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