Monday, November 23, 2009

Dyslexia Untied: Weak Reading or Pre-reading Skills

Clearly parents are keen to see their children showing a keen interest in reading and writing because we all see it as setting them on the path to learning. Learning is the first step towards education, qualifications, achievements and success in their future life. So, if it starts badly it is going to be difficult for the child(ren)to keep up.

This causes most parents some real concern and their efforts to help can add more pressure and stress to a child that is just 'not getting it' and has a different perception of what they are seeing and confusion about what is being asked of them.

Yes, it is true that children who experience certain levels of pre-reading and reading issues can be displaying potential symptoms of Dyslexia. It is also possible that they are simply experiencing a confusion of perception in what is required or a disinterest in the activity.

Parental Acceptance
Most parents are surprised and confused by the fact that their child may have a form of Dyslexia because the child is bright, attentive, responsive and otherwise intelligent. As with all things, there is a level of emotional learning that the parent has to go through before they accept the reality of the situation. Qualified professional consultants can assist with this,
sometimes very difficult process.

The next section gives you some indicators to forewarn parents as to the type of symptoms they may see in their child.

- Identifying simple sounds -
By school age most children can identify words that sound alike. They are able to list simple words that begin with the same letter. If you ask them to tell you a word beginning with 'B' or 'Buh' they will quickly respond with the words they know and will respond to help or prompting by the parent.

- A child with Dyslexia will show great disinterest in this activity because they cannot detect or sense the 'sound v letter' concept that the parent is talking about. You may as well be asking them about Algebra, they have no understanding of the concept.

- Detecting Rhyming Words -
The human brain's love of melodic music and rhyme means that if you can use this in your child's teaching, they should find it a pleasant way to learn about letters, words and more. Plus, it should be easier for them to learn in this way. The anticipation of rhymes and word sounds is demonstrated in their grasp and love of certain nursery rhymes, which children will happily 'sing' to you without much encouragement.

- Children with Dyslexia are unable to enjoy this activity or have a greatly diminished enjoyment of it, because they may not be able to 'sense' the rhyme and therefore miss the concept entirely.

- Identifying Your Name in Letters -
Pre-school children know and can recognise their names. They are happy to create their name in written or graphical format, as and when the mood takes them or on request. If a child is very slow or very reluctant to do this, it may be an indication of an underlying level of Dyslexia.

- Letters versus Squiggles -
Children with Dyslexia will have difficulty in separating 'real' letters from 'letter-like' squiggles and this may continue even up to them starting school. At this time, children who do not experience Dyslexia will 'know' their letters and will be able to correct parents and teachers 'mistakes' if they write a non-letter squiggle.

- Re-telling stories -
If you ask a young child to tell you a story that they have heard then they will be able to recall and relate most of the core details of the story in a slow but competent manner but a child with Dyslexia will have great difficulty and may never get to the end of it. They will be having difficulty recalling the sequence of events as well as putting them in the right order for recall.

- Listening to Stories -
If your child is not interested in hearing stories or re-telling stories they may have a level of Dyslexia. They will have difficulty in following the simple plot, uderstanding word plays and rhyming. Their lack of interest will cause them to be inattentive and may even cause them to wander off or start playing with a toy instead.

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