Dyslexia Association Identifies Dyslexia Warning Signs, Facts And Myths As Part Of “National Dyslexia Awareness Month”

Dyslexia Association Identifies Dyslexia Warning Signs, Facts And Myths As Part Of “National Dyslexia Awareness Month”
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What do business moguls and , entertainers Cher and , famed designer Tommy Hilfiger, renowned paleontologist Dr. John R. Horner, Olympians and , actors Danny Glover, and , and Hall of Fame Ryan all have in common? They are among the millions of individuals who have overcome dyslexia to become successful in later life. Estimates by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services suggest that as many as 15% of all individuals in the U.S. may have dyslexia or a related learning disorder.

October is Awareness Month, and the Massachusetts Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (MABIDA) is encouraging parents and caregivers to understand the warning signs for dyslexia as well as the facts and the myths about this . Most importantly, MABIDA is helping to ensure that every child affected by dyslexia receives the support necessary to overcome their and develop strong reading skills.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a language-based that involves difficulties in the area of reading, particularly with accurate and identification. Dyslexia most often results from difficulties in , or the ability to hear individual sounds in words. It is the most common , affecting people with generally average to above average intelligence including people from different ethnic and socio-. Why is it important to recognize, diagnose and treat dyslexi haIf children with dyslexia receive instruction in kindergarten and first grade, they will have significantly fewer problems learning to read at grade-level than do children who are not identified or helped until 3rd grade or after. Almost three-quarters of the children who are in 3rd grade remain in the 9th grade and typically continue to struggle with reading as adults.

What are the most common misconceptions about dyslexia?

One of the most common misconceptions is that individuals with dyslexia read “backwards.” Although many will reverse and confuse letters-particularly letters b, d and p because of their visual and sound similarities-typically the main problem relates to being able to hear sounds in words and connect those sounds with the appropriate letters.

What are some of the warning signs of Dyslexia?

The following are some of the characteristics present in a child who may have dyslexia and require further evaluation from a qualified diagnostician:
1. The child reads below his grade level.
2. The child has a slow or unusual development of language or vocabulary for his age.
3. The child has difficulty pronouncing words (aminal for animal), rhyming, or distinguishing sounds in words.
4. The child makes many letter reversals (b/d, u/n, p/q) or transposes letters and words (was/saw, on/no) (auction/caution, soiled/solid,).
5. The child has difficulty finding the words he wants to say or remembering the words to songs.
6. The child has difficulty remembering the sequence of the alphabet, months of the year, number patterns, etc.).
7. The child confuses the concepts of right and left.
8. The child has a poor concept of time and difficulty sequencing tasks.
9. The child makes many spelling errors, even when copying.
10. The child may have poor handwriting.

What Do the Experts Say?

“We tell people not to take a ‘wait and see’ approach,” says Pamela Hook, PhD, president of the Massachusetts Branch of the (MABIDA) and associate professor in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Program at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston. “Early and appropriate intervention is critical and will greatly increase your child’s academic success and self esteem. However, for older individuals with dyslexia it is never too late to learn to read, process and express information more efficiently.”
Many parents of struggling readers, however, are simply unaware of the appropriate interventions for their children, are confused about the specific type of professional help to seek, haven’t yet recognized the early signs of a or simply expect their child will somehow ‘outgrow’ their reading difficulty.

What Resources are Available for Help?

If you have questions about dyslexia, please contact MABIDA at 617-650-0011 or http://www.dyslexia-ma.org. In addition, the (IDA) has published a free fact sheet for parents entitled, “Is My Child Dyslexic?” describing many of the early signs of this specific learning disorder. The organization also distributes a free “Matrix of Multisensory Structured Language Programs” which compares the similarities and differences among various, evidence-based reading instruction approaches used throughout the U.S. The early-signs fact sheet, Matrix of Multisensory Structured Language Programs and many others are available as a free download on IDA’s

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