An Introduction to Dyslexia for parents

It is a common problem and a little spoken. It begins at an early age, and if it is not recognized and treated promptly, it can become a problem for those who suffer from it. It is accompanied by negative feelings, even of inferiority; Sometimes, whoever has it, think that is less intelligent than the others. We are talking about Dyslexia, a condition that affects 7-12% of the world's population. But what is it exactly? Which are its causes? What are its signs? And how is it diagnosed? We will answer those and other questions below.

What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects the ability to understand written language, to relate speech sounds to their written representation. Besides, it makes it challenging to combine sounds to form words and pronounce them correctly.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) classifies this disorder as a specific learning disability (SLD). Within this category, we found those disorders that affect the student's ability to read, write, listen, speak, reason or use mathematics.

Therefore, in most cases, this condition begins to be a problem at the beginning of school age.

Causes of Dyslexia
Today, it is known that Dyslexia is related to genes and family history. Up to 49% of parents of children with Dyslexia also have it, and it is common for their siblings also to have difficulties with reading. Research has identified a series of genes with abnormal behavior that affects brain development and how it communicates. If you have familiars with this disorder, the chances of your child suffering from it will increase.
On the other hand, human beings are not born with the ability to read. Instead, we acquire it over time. Reading changes the way our brain works, adapting areas for visual processing. In people with Dyslexia, this process is not carried out correctly. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has shown that language-related areas in the brain of dyslexic people are less active than that of non-dyslexic people.
For example, in reading, the temporoparietal cortex is responsible for understanding the sounds of speech and the meaning of words. This area is less active in people with Dyslexia, which explains the problem they have to understand the sound structure of language.
Even so, many questions remain unanswered, as researchers are working to determine which of the differences observed cause dyslexia, and which are the result of it.

Signs of Dyslexia
Dyslexia is more than a problem to read. It difficult the different aspects related to language, such as spelling, speech and writing. Not all cases are the same. Some children have trouble pronouncing the words, while others have a good reading, but they have a hard time understanding what they read. Although it is difficult to recognize this disorder before your child starts school age, there are early signs that you can help identify a problem.

Signs of Dyslexia at an early age
• It takes your child to start talking
• Learn new words at a slow pace
• Reverse the sound of words or confuse them for others that sound similar. For example, they say "beddy tear "instead of "teddy bear."

Signs of Dyslexia at school age
• Trouble remembering sequences, such as singing the alphabet.
• They find it difficult to tell an event in a logical order, so it is difficult to understand their stories.
• They have a lower reading level than expected for age
• The tendency to replace words in reading aloud. For example, say "house" when the writing says "home."
• Inability or difficulty reading unknown words
• Difficulty to spell
• Problems to remember how words are written and to apply spelling rules.
• Take longer than usual to perform tasks related to reading or writing
• They avoid doing activities related to reading or writing. They get frustrated when they do.

Signs in preteens and teenagers
• Problems reading, even out loud
• Avoid activities related to reading and writing
• Problems understanding and formulating idioms and puns
• Difficulty understanding jokes
• It takes a long time to finish the activities that involve reading and writing
• Trouble summarizing a story
As your child grows, it will be harder for him to interact in a world where written language is part of everyday life. That is why it is essential to recognize the signs from an early age. The mother of a dyslexic child acknowledged: "... if my son had had adequate intervention when he began to read, today he would have much less difficulties."

Fortunately, invasive studies, CT scans, or an MRI are not required to determine if your child has Dyslexia. In most cases, the identification of this disorder is teamwork involving parents, teachers and doctors.
If your child has trouble doing school activities, his teacher will likely let you know. This should light an alert signal, so observation should continue at home. If you notice some of the problems described above, it is good that you consult a health professional. In consultation, the doctor may ask you about your family history and a description of home life. They are likely to ask them to answer some questions in writing. If it is necessary, he will refer you to an expert, such as a speech therapist, who will analyze the process and quality of your child's reading skills.

Frequent questions about Dyslexia

Does Dyslexia have any relation to vision problems?
No, there is no relationship. Although it is proven that this disorder is related to decreased activity in some areas of the brain, it does not affect the areas responsible for vision. Also, the problem is not fixed with the use of glasses, so Dyslexia is not a problem with your child's vision.
If my child has Dyslexia, does it mean he is less intelligent than other children?
Although it is a common belief, the Dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence. Many have compared this condition as being left-handed. It does not make them less intelligent, but to be different than most.
Can my child be cured of Dyslexia?
Currently, no treatment eliminates all the complications that this disorder produces. However, after a specialized reading and writing program, those parts of the brain that were less active began to function better, producing a marked improvement in children's ability to read, write and understand.
The brain is like a muscle; if it trains, it can be strengthened. Therefore, instead of seeing Dyslexia as a problem, it can be considered as an opportunity to overcome the challenges. Great characters in history have suffered from this disorder. However, that has not prevented them from leading a life like that of any other person. It has not stopped them from being happy and will not stop your child from being happy either.

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