Dyslexia is a cluster of symptoms that include, along with a primary reading difficulty, a difficulty with fine motor skills such as tying shoe laces, cutting with scissors, and handwriting. A difficulty with gross motor skills such as learning to ride a bicycle or learning the steps of a dance. A difficulty with spelling. A difficulty with rote learning, such as learning multiplication tables. A word finding difficulty (Semantic Long-Term Memory difficulty). Poor phonological awareness. A problem hearing rhyme and understanding rhythm. A difficulty crossing the mid-line of the body. Sometimes there is a difficulty in sequencing. Comprehension is unaffected.
Not all these symptoms will be present in all dyslexic children but most symptoms will be present. Not all these symptoms will be within the clinical range. Most tend to be at the lower end of the average range and because of this remediation may not be offered. If each symptom is taken individually there does not seem to be a problem, however when all symptoms are examined together a pattern of difficulties becomes apparent.
It can appear as if the student has a poor memory. For example: he spends an hour learning his spelling list only to have forgotten it by the next day. He is unable to recognise a word in a book when he has just read the same word in the paragraph above.
How can Dyslexia be helped?
In order to begin to read, visual perception and auditory perception should be equally good. Testing for auditory or visual perceptual difficulties may make the reason for the dyslexia clear. Rowena can do this testing for you.
Physical testing by an Ophthalmologist, or Developmental Optometrist to check on the ability of the eyes to see clearly, converge accurately, and track smoothly is important, as is audiometry testing to ensure that the ears hear clearly.
There are many good remedial programs. The correct remedial program is dependant upon the student’s learning strengths. It is important to choose the correct program or the correct set of programs to help your child. Remediation for dyslexia often fails because the wrong program has been chosen. Rowena can help you choose the right program to help your child’s difficulty.
Many students identified with learning difficulties have Working Memory difficulties. Rowena can identify your child’s memory strengths and weaknesses through testing. She can provide you with a program to help your child use his or her memory more effectively.