HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – If your child appears bright but gets frustrated when it comes to reading, writing or math, they may have one of two forms of dyslexia.
With October being Dyslexia Awareness Month, we wanted to tell parents how to identify the learning disability and how to help.
According to the American Dyslexia Association, the learning disability is an inherited gene and there are two different types to look out for anywhere from kindergarten to second grade.
Dyslexia is not a developmental lag but a different mode of brain organization. Students overwhelmed by letters and words is called dyslexia. Dyscalculia is when the student’s attention is broken when encountering numbers and arithmetic.
The learning disability is inherited through genes, blurring the child’s brain perceptions. The result makes learning to read, write or do math difficult. Many dyslexic students have strengths of getting the gist or the “big picture”, can quickly understand what is read to them, and have a creative imagination.
According to the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, there are negative signs as early as preschool that can help diagnosis. In preschool, be concerned if your child has trouble learning nursery rhymes, the alphabet, and rhyming sequences such as cat, bat, rat.
If you child is in kindergarten or first grade, warning signs include children who don’t understand sentence structure, cannot sound out one syllable words, and don’t associate letters with sounds; such as the letter “b” with the sound “b”.
Finally, if your child is in second grade or higher, be concerned if they avoid reading out loud, use the words “stuff” or “thing” as descriptions, have trouble finishing tests on time, complain about words “disappearing” on the page, or if they have messy handwriting.
According to A.D.A., parents should take dyslexia and dyscalculia seriously because if the problem is not addressed, the child can form a secondary dyslexia that impacts their physical health, including anxiety, hardness of hearing, and bad eyesight.
If you’re concerned, talk with your child’s teacher. They can help you get further assistance from a dyslexia specialist or through the Pennsylvania school systems Capital Area Intermediate Unit.
According to current research, dyslexia cannot be cured but if caught early enough in the child’s education, by second grade they can easily learn skills to cope that will help them for the rest of their lives.
To learn more, you can attend an event at the state Capitol this Wednesday at 10 a.m. on Dyslexia Awareness Day, where there will be guest speakers and representatives in the main Rotunda educating about the learning disability.