Could my Struggling Reader be Dyslexic?
Clues to Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz
The specific signs of dyslexia, both weaknesses and strengths, in an individual will vary according to the age and educational level of that person. The five-year-old who can't quite learn his letters becomes the six-year-old who can't match sounds to letters and the fourteen-year-old who dreads reading out loud and the twenty-four-year-old who reads excruciatingly slowly. The threads persist throughout a person's life.
The following are some clues to dyslexia for children in second grade and beyond.
Problems in speaking
- Mispronunciation of long, unfamiliar, or complicated words; the fracturing of words – leaving out parts of words or confusing the order of the parts of words; for example,aluminum becomes amulium
- Speech that is not fluent – pausing or hesitating often when speaking, lots of um's during speech, no glibness
- The use of imprecise language, such as vague references to stuff or things instead of the proper name of an object
- Not being able to find the exact word, such as confusing words that sound alike: sayingtornado instead of volcano, substituting lotion for ocean, or humanity for humidity
- The need for time to summon an oral response or the inability to come up with a verbal response quickly when questioned
- Difficulty in remembering isolated pieces of verbal information (rote memory) – trouble remembering dates, names, telephone numbers, random lists
Problems in reading
- Very slow progress in acquiring reading skills
- The lack of a strategy to read new words
- Trouble reading unknown (new, unfamiliar) words that must be sounded out; making wild stabs or guesses at reading a word; failure to systematically sound out words
- The inability to read small "function" words such as that, an, in
- Stumbling on reading multisyllable words, or the failure to come close to sounding out the full word
- Omitting parts of words when reading; the failure to decode parts within a word, as if someone had chewed a hole in the middle of the word, such as conible for convertible
- A terrific fear of reading out loud; the avoidance of oral reading
- Oral reading filled with substitutions, omissions, and mispronunciations
- Oral reading that is choppy and labored, not smooth or fluent
- Oral reading that lacks inflections and sounds like the reading of a foreign language
- A reliance on context to discern the meaning of what is read
- A better ability to understand words in context than to read isolated single words
- Disproportionately poor performance on multiple choice tests
- The inability to finish tests on time
- The substitution of words with the same meaning for words in the text he can't pronounce, such as car for automobile
- Disastrous spelling, with words not resembling true spelling; some spellings may be missed by spell check
- Trouble reading mathematics word problems
- Reading that is very slow and tiring
- Homework that never seems to end, or with parents often recruited as readers
- Messy handwriting despite what may be an excellent facility at word processing – nimble fingers
- Extreme difficulty learning a foreign language
- A lack of enjoyment in reading, and the avoidance of reading books or even a sentence
- The avoidance of reading for pleasure, which seems too exhausting
- Reading whose accuracy improves over time, though it continues to lack fluency and is laborious
- Lowered self-esteem, with pain that is not always visible to others
- A history of reading, spelling, and foreign language problems in family members
In addition to looking for signs of a phonologic weakness, here are some signs of strengthto look for and applaud in your child:
- Excellent thinking skills: conceptualization, reasoning, imagination, abstraction
- Learning that is accomplished best through meaning rather than rote memorization
- Ability to get the "big picture"
- A high level of understanding of what is read to him
- The ability to read and to understand at a high level over learned (that is, highly practiced) words in a special area of interest; for example, if his hobby is restoring cars, he may be able to read auto mechanics magazines
- Improvement as an area of interest becomes more specialized and focused, when he develops a miniature vocabulary that he can read
- A surprisingly sophisticated listening vocabulary
- Excellence in areas not dependant on reading, such as math, computers, and visual arts, or excellence in more conceptual (versus factoid-driven) subjects such as philosophy, biology, social studies, neuroscience, and creative writing
Many of the above indicate strengths in higher-level thinking processes.
Excerpted and adapted from: Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level
Here are some tips to prove it by Kelli Sandman-Hurley Click here for a link to this great article
Dyslexia Indication Checklist
This checklist link is a lightweight version of a proper dyslexia evaluation. It will help you start to get a general idea of your child’s learning profile and should be followed with a professional assessment if needed. (Source: Headstrongnation.org)
Still Wondering if it is Dyslexia?
Most dyslexics will exhibit about 10 of the following traits and behaviors. These characteristics can vary from day-to-day or minute-to-minute. The most consistent thing about dyslexics is their inconsistency. Click this link for 37 Common Characteristics of Dyslexia.
Winning Dyslexia - One Mom's Journey
By Christina Middleton of Dyslexia Johnson County
A question that plagued me for years. From the first mention in Kindergarten that my son could not rhyme to every conference over the last 5 years - with teachers and reading specialists telling me that we just need to get his words per minute up or he'll get it, they usually catch up by the 3rd grade.
But, he didn't. And night after night, the stress, worry, anxiety and anguish over what to do would leave me with night upon night of praying, tears, and worry. It finally started to click it might be Dyslexia when I watched the HBO Documentary: The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia (see website here)
Then, I went to a LD Panel discussion on Dyslexia at the Horizon Academy and they showed the movie Embracing Dyslexia. See below for full-length movie.
From there it has been a wild journey of testing and evaluations to learn YES!!! He is Dyslexic. And what a relief to finally know Why? My super smart, knows everything about anything kid still can't read.
For more on our journey, Read my Winning Dyslexia Blog
Helpful Dyslexia Video's
What are the Early Warning Signs?
Dyslexia Screening: Essential Concepts for Schools & Parents - Dr. Richard Selnick
Dyslexia Screening: Essential Concepts for Schools & Parents presents an overview of the ‘nuts and bolts’ of what goes into a dyslexia screening program for schools. Helpful for parents too this guide presents material in clear, ‘down-to-earth’ terms.
National Center for Learning Disabilities
Dyslexia is a learning disability that people are born with. This language processing disorder can hinder reading, writing, spelling, and sometimes even speaking. Dr. Horowitz talks about dyslexia and its impact on individuals with LD.
Listen to local Dyslexia Expert, Pamela Taylor discuss Dyslexia on KCUR's Central Standard.
Dyslexia affects nearly 20 percent of the population, effecting their ability to learn in the same way as the rest of the population. But, many individuals never get diagnosed.
On this episode of Central Standard we explore the science behind dyslexia, signs that you or a loved one may have this brain difference and how the proper accommodations and assistance can turn dyslexia into a life long asset.