Dyslexia is a common cause learning disability in children. According to a study, children diagnosed with dyslexia by the second grade are more likely (8 times more likely) than those diagnosed after the fifth grade to have improved reading skills in higher grades. A parent should be watchful for signs of struggle with language, reading, and sounding out words. If your young child has any learning problem, consult a health professional (a learning disabilities specialist or child psychologist) to have your child evaluated for learning disabilities. Some signs and symptoms which indicate that you should seek medical advice are:
- Delayed speech as compared to other children of the same age.
- Mixing up the sounds and syllables in long words and difficulty in pronouncing words properly and ‘jumbling’ up phrases such as saying ‘beddy tear’ instead of ‘teddy bear”.
- Chronic or repeated ear infections.
- Persistent confusion in left and right.
- Late development of dominant hand.
- Trouble memorizing home address, phone number.
- Difficulty rhyming or appreciating rhyming words, such as ‘the cat sat on the mat’.
- Family history of dyslexia.
In elementary school
- Dysgraphia which is slow, illegible handwriting and extreme difficulty in learning cursive formations.
- Letter or number reversals continuing beyond first grade.
- Poor reading ability when compared to children of the same age (slow, choppy, inaccurate reading).
- Poor spelling.
- Difficulty in understanding time using a clock with hands.
- Difficulty with math (memorising multiplication tables and doing addition).
- Extremely untidy bedroom, backpack, and desk.
- Doesn’t like going to school and may complain of stomach aches or headaches or have nightmares about school.
- Difficulty in understanding what he or she hears.
- Difficulty in understanding rapid instructions.
- Difficulty in understanding and following more than one command at a time.
- Difficulty in remembering the sequence of things.
In High School
May have all of the above mentioned symptoms including:
- Limited vocabulary and poor use of language.
- Difficulty in reading. Hence, they may try to avoid reading and writing if possible.
- Trouble learning a new language.
- Extremely poor handwriting.
- Significant discrepancy between verbal skills and written compositions.
- Poor grades in school and may drop out of high school.
- Trouble managing time and work.
If your child has 3 or more of the above warning signs, consult a health professional to have your child evaluated for learning disabilities and learn more about dyslexia.
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