Dyslexia in children cannot be generalized, as no two children will show the same symptoms. While one may not remember nursery rhymes, the other may have problems sequencing words or spellings. It is also possible that a child is not able to concentrate because of other problems related to his vision or hearing. Therefore, parents as well as teachers need to observe children carefully before concluding that they are dyslexics.
People who work with dyslexic children suggest that there are certain symptoms particular to a child with dyslexia, differentiating it from other learning disabilities. These symptoms can include issues related to a childï¿½s memory, language skills, self-organization, numeric abilities, and behavior patterns. Additionally, it is important to factor in your family history, as there may be a genetic link to dyslexia. In general, for a child to diagnosed with dyslexia, it is necessary for him to display at least nine to 10 of the following symptoms during testing for dyslexia.
Symptoms Related to General Behaviour
- Your child may appear bright and have a high IQ, yet does not perform too well on written tests. Dyslexic children have been known to be very creative as well as have above average abilities in physical exercises. But when it comes to reading or writing, they seem to be below average. This sharp contrast in their intelligence and language skills is a very good indicator of dyslexia.
- Because of their problems understanding language, children with learning disabilities cannot pay full attention to classroom activities related to reading or writing. This can make a dyslexic child seem lazy and as if they donï¿½t even want to correct themselves if they make a mistake. Many times they also seem to be lost in their own thoughts, having no sense of time and place.
- As kids, they may like listening to stories or looking at the pictures, but do not like to read themselves. In school, too, they avoid reading and testing.
- Dyslexic children are typically very aware of their lowered language capability when compared to their classmates. This may lead to your child getting frustrated, having very low self-confidence and continuously trying to hide his weaknesses by inventing some clever excuse.
- A dyslexic child will quickly learn and show a lot of interest when her teaching involves practical work, field work, demonstrations or use of visual aids.
- Children with dyslexia often get confused between directional words, like up and down or left and right. This may become apparent when your child canï¿½t put the correct foot in the proper shoe or has difficulty getting dressed. If your child is given a directional instruction, such as ï¿½go up the stairs, turn left and enter the room on the rightï¿½, he is likely to have some problems and make a mistake.
- Usually, as toddlers, dyslexic children appear to trip or bump a lot, develop speech much later, do not find it easy to clap to a rhythm and may begin walking early while skipping over the crawling stage.
- Dyslexics are frequently termed ï¿½moodyï¿½, ï¿½day dreamersï¿½ and ï¿½lazyï¿½.
Language Related Symptoms
The main concern with dyslexic children is their inability to grasp language through traditional ways of teaching. This is why reading, writing, and other language skills are the focus during dyslexia testing. Some symptoms that may become apparent during a dyslexia test include:
- Frequent use of jumbled words, such as ï¿½deksï¿½ for ï¿½desk,ï¿½ or replacing words like ï¿½play houseï¿½ to ï¿½clay house.ï¿½
- Difficulty remembering the name of known objects, like ï¿½cupï¿½
- Having persistent troubles reading and trying to avoid reading altogether. Some dyslexic individuals are unable to read something they themselves have written.
- Consistently gets confused between ï¿½bï¿½ and ï¿½dï¿½ or ï¿½noï¿½ and ï¿½onï¿½; finds it hard to remember alphabets and frequently misses letters or words while writing.
- Takes more time to read or write than other children of the same age.
- Has troubles holding a pen or pencil to write. Dyslexics are often ambidextrous, meaning they can write with either hand.
- Has a hard time saying what she is thinking of and may leave sentences incomplete, stutter or say something they did not mean to say.
- Some teachers have also observed dyslexic children writing the spelling of words in the same way we speak, for example ï¿½heartï¿½ as ï¿½hartï¿½ or ï¿½flowerï¿½ as ï¿½flaurï¿½.
Trouble with Numbers
- Children with learning disabilities find it difficult to remember numbers, tables, and formulas and may write numbers in the wrong way.
- Need to use fingers for calculating simple problems, even at an older age.
- Many times, dyslexics may know the answer of a numerical problem but cannot write it out on paper.
- People with dyslexia can find it hard to count objects or money. They may also find it tough to tell the time or work according to a timetable.
- Remembering simple numbers or sequences, like telephone numbers, can become very strenuous.
- Word problems are hard to understand as is high school math and algebra.
- Children with dyslexia may show poor concentration powers and get easily distracted.
- Dyslexics have very good long term memories but may not seem to remember something they have just heard or learned.
- Instead of verbal communication, dyslexics rely more on visual images and feelings. This is also true when they are communicating with themselves. For example, their inner thoughts are can be based more in visuals than words or sentences.
- In terms of organization capabilities, dyslexics seem to lack simple judgment abilities such as when the tennis racket is needed next or whether to take markers to school or not. They have also been found to be messier than most other kids.
Physical Attributes and Health
- May dyslexics complain of headaches and stomachaches regularly, especially while reading.
- Have difficulty hearing and are easily distracted by other sounds.
- May suffer from regular throat and ear infections.
- They may complain of having vision problems but show no clear signs during an eye test.
- May stare at written things for a long time or lose interest quickly.
- Are very emotional and empathise with others who are suffering.
- Can be deep sleepers or may not sleep at all. Also in some cases, children may wet their bed beyond an appropriate age.
The signs of dyslexia may vary greatly between children. If you think that your child is showing many of these signs, it is best to get some professional advice. With an early dyslexia diagnosis, you and your child can turn around his schooling problems and quickly improve his performance and his self-confidence.
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