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What Is Dyslexia? (page 2)

— National Center for Learning Disabilities
Updated on Jul 9, 2011

How is Dyslexia Identified?

Trained professionals can identify dyslexia using a formal evaluation. This looks at a person's ability to understand and use spoken and written language. It looks at areas of strength and weakness in the skills that are needed for reading. It also takes into account many other factors. These include family history, intellect, educational background, and social environment.

How Is Dyslexia Treated?

It helps to identify dyslexia as early in life as possible. Adults with unidentified dyslexia often work in jobs below their intellectual capacity. But with help from a tutor, teacher, or other trained professional, almost all people with dyslexia can become good readers and writers. Use the following strategies to help to make progress with dyslexia.

  • Expose your child to early oral reading, writing, drawing, and practice to encourage development of print knowledge, basic letter formation, recognition skills, and linguistic awareness (the relationship between sound and meaning).
  • Have your child practice reading different kinds of texts. This includes  books, magazines, ads, and comics.
  • Include multi-sensory, structured language instruction. Practice using sight, sound, and touch when introducing new ideas.
  • Seek modifications in the classroom. This might include extra time to complete assignments, help with note taking, oral testing, and other means of assessment.
  • Use books on tape and assistive technology. Examples are screen readers and voice recognition computer software.
  • Get help with the emotional issues that arise from struggling to overcome academic difficulties.

Reading and writing are key skills for daily living. However, it is important to also emphasize other aspects of learning and expression. Like all people, those with dyslexia enjoy activities that tap into their strengths and interests. For example, people with dyslexia may be attracted to fields that do not emphasize language skills. Examples are design, art, architecture, engineering, and surgery.

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