Dyslexia Warning Signs
Here is a list of warning signs to consider if you are concerned that your child may be dyslexic:
A family history of dyslexia-dyslexia is hereditary. Meaning someone in the family tree also has dyslexia. Sometimes it is difficult to know because dyslexia was rarely diagnosed. You may consider family members who struggled in school. They may say, "I hated school", or they may have struggled or still struggle to read and/or spell.
Difficulty Rhyming-people with dyslexia often struggle with rhyming due to a weakness in phonemic awareness (the ability to identify and manipulate individual sounds in spoken words.)
Difficulty with decoding(reading) and encoding(spelling)-if an individual struggles with both reading and spelling, there is a 95% chance that they are dyslexic.
Directionality challenges-they confuse right and left, above and below, difficulty tying their shoes, and letter reversals (b/d, p/q).
Difficulty memorizing-they struggle to memorize high-frequency sight words or math facts.
Sequencing issues- they may struggle with following multiple-step directions and the correct order of the alphabet, days of the week, months of the year etc.
What to do if you suspect your child is dyslexic:
Become a case manager-learn everything you can about dyslexia.
Explain dyslexia to your child-knowledge is power. When your child learns that there is a reason why they are struggling it helps them to know that it is not their fault and that there are ways to make reading easier.
Get Orton-Gillingham tutoring-students with dyslexia need to be taught using a system that is direct, explicit, multisensory, structured, sequential, diagnostic, and prescriptive.
Start homework accommodations-students with dyslexia often spend extraordinary amounts of time trying to complete homework in comparison to their peers. This can lead to frustration and burnout.
Fight for classroom accommodations-accommodations such as not requiring a student with dyslexia to read out loud in class can minimize stress and anxiety. Other accommodations such as audio options for reading, and having the teacher read assignment and test questions to the student can help your student be more successful.
Technology tools-access to audiobook, text-to-speech, and dictation allows students to access information at their intellectual level rather than their reading level and these tools also allow the student to work more independently.
Find the student's gifted areas-finding a student's strengths help build self-esteem.
Network with other parents-it is nice to have people that have been or are going through a similar situation. You can learn and help each other.
Help others-now that you have been through the process you can share what you have learned with others.
Visit https://bartonreading.com/videos/#9things for more detailed information. Susan Barton, the creator of Barton Reading and Spelling, has created a video to help parents help their children.
I also advise parents to request an educational evaluation through their school. Getting a diagnosis and IEP or 504 plan will help the student be able to get the above mentioned accommodations. A student can start tutoring prior to an educational evaluation and diagnosis, however, this should be done within 6 months of starting an OG tutoring program.