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Could it be Dyslexia?

Girl in library looking frustrated as she reads a book

Before my son was diagnosed with Dyslexia, we had years of tears when it came to classwork and homework. Often, before children get diagnosed, they are labeled lazy, unmotivated or unintelligent. Thankfully, this area has been getting more attention, and it's becoming easier to get help.

Sometimes the child may also be diagnosed with Dysgraphia (poor handwriting) or Dyscalculia (math disability). It's imperative that the diagnosis be done as soon as you start seeing symptoms.

Some symptoms you might observe in preschool:

  • delayed speech

  • chronic ear infections

  • confusion between left and right

  • difficulty learning to tie shoes

  • can't create words that rhyme

  • close relative with dyslexia

In Elementary school you might observe:

  • difficulties with handwriting

  • letter or number reversal past first grade

  • choppy, inaccurate reading

  • can't sound out unknown words

  • terrible speller

  • difficulty telling time with a clock with hands

  • trouble with math

In High School some symptoms you might see:

  • poor grades

  • dreads school

  • difficulty reading printed music

  • limited vocabulary

  • gap between verbal skills and written work

In Adults the following might be seen:

  • terrible speller

  • slow reader

  • continued difficulty with right versus left

  • difficulty putting thoughts on paper

  • often gets lost when driving

  • sometimes confuses b and d

Several years ago the educational laws changed in favor of identifying children who may have a reading disability. After an evaluation, the child will be given an IEP with the identifying disability of "specific learning disability." This is defined in part as "a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia." (See 20 U.S.C Section 1401(30) and 34 CFR Section 300.8(c)(10)).

It is highly recommended that the IEP language does not prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia in evaluations, eligibility and IEP documents. This will help ensure the provision of FAPE, Free And Appropriate Education.

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