Dyslexia: Early Warning Signs and Solutions for Parents

October 28, 2013

This is an excellent article from The Sensory Spectrum on the importance of listening to your gut if you are a parent and sense something is just not right. As a professional who works with young children, looking at all the little pieces that aren’t fitting together to help with an accurate diagnoses is of major importance!

Perhaps the single most important quote in this article speaks to the reading skills at the end of Kindergarten. Many parents are unaware of the importance of reading to children early and often! Please read this and share with others who may need more information on this topic.

Dyslexia in Children: Early Warning Signs for Parents

Is your young child struggling with reading? Have you noticed any potential “warning signs” that may indicate a learning disability like dyslexia? Research shows that one in five people in the United States have some sort of learning disability – yet for many children, the problem remains unidentified and undiagnosed far longer than it should. Experts agree that early detection and intervention is extremely beneficial for children who are showing signs of dyslexia or other learning differences.

Pediatric Neuropsychologist Nichole Dawson, Ph.D. helps families and children with reading and learning disorders and has a son of her own who has dyslexia. With the national reminder of Dyslexia Awareness Month looming in October, Dr. Dawson is informing the public about learning differences and their early “markers” or warning signs. For instance, she says, a child may have difficulties:

  • learning the alphabet, identifying letters, and/or processing letter-sound relationships
  • learning nursery rhymes, preschool songs, the days of the week, the months of the year
  • learning to count and recognizing numbers
  • reading out loud (slow, “choppy” and error-prone)
  • breaking word sounds apart, or blending them together

Dr. Dawson also points to several other warning signs in children, including:

  • a history of challenges in speech and/or language development
  • weak fine motor skills, messy handwriting and/or trouble learning to write letters, numbers, or even their own name
  • trouble with repetitive learning of facts, vocabulary, names of people and places
  • trouble with math, especially learning math facts and computation

If a child is exhibiting some of these symptoms, parents should seek an evaluation by an expert in dyslexia and reading impairments. School psychologists, pediatric neuropsychologists, educational therapists and speech language pathologists are among the professionals who are qualified to provide a diagnosis.

Although many children with learning differences actually have above-average intelligence, Dr. Dawson advises parents to listen to their instincts instead of waiting it out. “Studies show that a child’s reading skill level at the end of kindergarten is highly predictive of where their reading skills will be in third grade,” she says. “The idea that it might just ‘click’ one day if you wait long enough is in fact not substantiated by research.”

Many individuals with learning differences suffer from low self-esteem as a byproduct of their reading challenges, and large percentages end up dropping out of school if they never receive help. But the good news is that there are many resources that can help children with learning differences achieve reading success.

Dr. Dawson’s recommendation is twofold: “First, the child needs to receive good, highly explicit, evidenced-based instruction in a multi-sensory, structured language curriculum. Secondly, supports and accommodations are very important to minimize the negative impact of dyslexia on the child’s learning success.”

4 Easy Steps to Get Your Toddler to Talk!5 Things Reading to Babies Does for Future Speech Development!
Welcome To Sprout!
Sprout Pediatrics exists to cultivate hope in children and their families for a full life experience by surrounding them with innovative therapy, education and connection within their community.
  • Innovative Therapy
  • Engaging Education
  • Cultivating Community
  • Pediatric Therapy

Phone & E-mail

We look forward to hearing from you.

Phone: 803.629.1981 Fax: 803.825.4830 info@sproutpeds.com
Contact Us