Does My Child Have Dyslexia / Is My Child Dyslexic?

Dyslexia is described as a learning disability that relates to speech sounds and how the brain relates them to written words. Parents who have a child diagnosed with dyslexia can be understandably very concerned. But while it’s true that dyslexic children can have greater difficulty reading, studying, and learning in conventional school environments, there are many programs and tools available to help.

Importantly, intelligence and vision are not affected by dyslexia. In fact, there are many famous business leaders and Nobel Prize winning scientists who have dyslexia. There is even research that suggests that people with dyslexia might have certain cognitive advantages with regard to pattern recognition and spatial relationships. This means that the large majority of children with dyslexia can succeed at school with specialized training and tutoring. And most public-school systems have programs in place to help.

Is There a Cure for Dyslexia?
There is no known cure for dyslexia. But there are adaptive learning techniques that can significantly improve the learning experience. Early detection and intervention yield the best results.

How Do I Know if My Child Has Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is hard to recognize in very young children and toddlers. In many cases, symptoms are not recognized until a child enters school. In milder cases this can result is dyslexia going undiagnosed for years. Since undiagnosed dyslexia can result is frustration, lower school performance, and poor self-esteem it’s something important to be aware of.

Signs, Symptoms, and Diagnosing Dyslexia
The severity of symptoms varies greatly, but indications usually start to become apparent as a child starts to learn or attempt to read. In the past, cases of dyslexia were often misdiagnosed. Fortunately, advancements in research has made it much easier and effective.

For children below school age, symptoms can include:

  • Late talking
  • Learning new words more slowly
  • Difficulty sounding-out or forming words correctly, such as reversing syllables and sounds or repeatedly confusing words that sound alike
  • Difficulty remembering simple songs or rhymes

If your child is in school, symptoms can be easier to recognize, such as:

  • Reading below grade level
  • Difficulty remembering things in order or sequence
  • Difficulty finding the right words or forming answers to questions
  • Persistent spelling errors and difficulty sounding-out and pronouncing new words
  • Avoiding reading, even for pleasure

Research also indicates that dyslexia runs in families, indicating a possible genetic component. If other members of your family have dyslexia, there is a greater likelihood that your child might too.

What to Do If You Suspect Your Child Has Dyslexia
There is no need to guess or worry. If you are concerned about dyslexia in your child, consult with your pediatrician. Your child’s doctor has been trained to recognize the symptoms and can arrange for additional tests –if necessary – to diagnose any issue and direct you to the additional support and resources you might need.

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Sources and Additional Resources
“Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, and Vision” a joint technical report by the American Academy of
Pediatrics (AAP):

“Dyslexia at a Glance” by the International Dyslexia Association:

“Dyslexia: Symptoms and Causes” by The Mayo Clinic:

“Diagnosing Dyslexia” by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

Schneps, Matthew H. and L. Todd Rose, September 2007, “Visual Learning and the Brain: Implications for Dyslexia” – Mind, Brain, and Education, vol. 1, issue 3, pp 128-139.

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