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Red Flags for Dyslexia

Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in the United States, impacting 20 percent of the country’s population. If a child is not diagnosed by the second grade, there is a significant chanceblog-dyslexia-main-landscape he or she will remain undiagnosed until they reach adulthood. By educating yourself on the red flags of this learning disability, you can avoid misconceptions as well as delayed identification of this disability. Early identification of any disorder correlates with improved outcome and prognosis.

Preschool-Aged Red Flags for Dyslexia:

Difficulties with phonemic awareness or the ability to identify and manipulate individual sounds in words are beginning signs that your child may have dyslexia. Examples of phonemic awareness skills are:

  • Segmenting syllables (e.g., “how many syllables do you hear in butterfly?”)
  • Rhyming (e.g., “which word rhymes with mat; star or hat”?)
  • Phoneme isolation (e.g., “in the word sun, is the /s/ at the beginning, middle or end of the word?”)
  • Sound deletion (e.g., “say cup without the /k/.”)

Other signs include:

  • Trouble reading single words
  • Trouble generating rhyming words or identifying which words don’t belong
  • Reversing letters and words (e.g., tab/bat)
  • Difficulty identifying sounds at the beginning or end of a word (e.g., “what word begins with /t/; toad or boat?”)

Elementary-Aged Red Flags for Dyslexia:

Once children enter elementary school, the expectations for reading and writing abilities increase significantly. Children not previously identified as being at-risk may begin to exhibit signs as school work becomes more challenging. These children often have average or above average IQ, but demonstrate below grade-level reading and writing abilities.

Red flags include:

  • Trouble sequencing (e.g., steps, alphabet, naming months)
  • Continued trouble with rhyming
  • Difficulty with word finding (e.g., relying on “stuff,” “things” or other generic words)
  • Difficulty with organization and studying
  • Trouble with story telling
  • Avoidance or dislike of reading

Should an individual demonstrate some of these signs, it is not necessarily indicative of dyslexia. Other reading or language disorders may play a factor. However, if these difficulties persist through childhood, it may negatively impact that child’s academic success.

Through early identification, children with dyslexia can begin treatment in phonics-based programs, such as Orton-Gillingham or Wilson. These programs are unique in that the relationships between sounds and letters are explicitly and systematically taught. With consistent treatment, children with dyslexia can learn to compensate for their disorder, as well as begin to enjoy reading and writing.

NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Lake Bluff, Des Plaines, Hinsdale and Milwaukee! If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates!

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dyslexia signs and symptoms

Famous People with Dyslexia

Imagine that you are a second grader, leaving the neuropsychologist’s office. BlogGraphics-FamousPeopleDyslexiaMain-LandscapeYou’ve completed diagnostic testing to evaluate the way that you think, read and write. You had to complete odd tasks, feeling nervous and increasingly tired. To top it all off, the neuropsychologist explained to your mom that you show characteristics of something called “dyslexia.” You could tell your mom was upset and maybe even a little sad. You leave feeling even more nervous, thinking “Is something wrong with me?

At the time of a dyslexia diagnosis, your child might feel embarrassed and isolated. Imagine the feeling of hope they might experience when finding out that some of the most successful people they read about in books or see daily on the television also have dyslexia.

Historical Figures:

  • Thomas Edison
  • Henry Ford
  • Scott Fitzgerald
  • Pablo Picasso

Entrepreneurs:

  • Ingvar Kamprad, Founder of IKEA
  • Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Enterprises
  • John T. Chambers, CEO, Cisco Systems
  • Charles Schwab, Founder of Charles Schwab Corporation

Entertainment Celebrities:

  • Billy Bob Thornton, writer, director and actor
  • Whoopi Goldberg, Academy Award winning actress
  • Keira Knightly, actress
  • Jay Leno, TV entertainer
  • Henry Winkler, actor and writer

See the website for the International Dyslexia Association for more “Success Stories” in the areas of science, research, politics, and law.

The diagnosis of dyslexia bears no reference to an individual’s intelligence. In fact, some scientists believe that people with dyslexia often are innovative thinkers due to different “hard-wiring” of the brain. As you can see from the above list of leading entertainers and business people in the United States, the diagnosis of dyslexia does not define or limit a child’s success in their career or life.

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview, Lake Bluff and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

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untreated dyslexia

What Happens When Dyslexia Goes Untreated

Language-based learning difficulties can affect up to 20% of the population, with dyslexia being the most common type. People with dyslexia often have difficulty translating ideas into written language and likely have trouble decoding (understanding) written language.

Research has shown that most children who struggle with reading in 3rd grade remainWhat Happens When Dyslexia Goes Untreated poor readers even in high school. This suggests that early intervention, as with all aspects of childhood language difficulties, is key. If these children receive intervention before the critical “learning to read” period (kindergarten through 3rd grade) changes to “reading to learn” in fourth grade, they are more likely to become successful readers.

Common Characteristics of Untreated Dyslexia:

  • Difficulty with planning and organizing, often spending more time on homework than necessary
  • Trouble with storytelling or finding the “right” words when writing or speaking
  • Avoidance of reading, reading below grade level
  • Difficulty with saying the alphabet, naming letters, and numerous spelling errors
  • Trouble with language comprehension and some difficulty with spoken language
  • Difficulty decoding (reading) words and sentences, slow when writing and reading

These characteristics highlight the importance of intervention. Due to the broad-reaching grasp that dyslexia can have on a child’s academic performance, intervening before the critical period ends (kindergarten through third grade) is imperative. Children struggling with dyslexia often have average intelligence, so parents may not realize that an underlying disorder is to blame for trouble at school. When a gap exists between a child’s performance and their overall potential, dyslexia may be the reason.

Children can be evaluated for reading disorders by neuropsychologists, school psychologists, and some reading specialists. If ongoing therapy is warranted, parents may choose to seek out the assistance of a licensed speech-language pathologist, as dyslexia is a language disorder impacting the reading/writing/spoken language realms.

Click here to learn more about our Orton-Gillingham Reading Center.

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

dyslexia signs and symptoms

Dyslexia: Signs and Symptoms

Dyslexia is commonly thought of as letter reversals (e.g., substituting b/d or p/q) and letter inversions (e.g., substituting b/p or d/q). However, that is not the case for all people. Individuals with dyslexia tend to have a much broader range of symptoms, many of which are not typically associated with the disorder. Symptoms of dyslexia may manifest more as a general language disorder, notably as difficulty with the acquisition and use of language, both spoken and written. Language-based learning difficulties can affect up to 20% of the population, with dyslexia being the most common type. The symptoms below are not an exhaustive list, rather they most commonly occur with dyslexia.

Symptoms of Dyslexia:

General Signs: Typical to most with dyslexia, individuals tend to have difficulty with the alphabetic principle, ordyslexia signs and symptoms the predictable association between sounds and letters (e.g., if you hear a “j” sound at the end of the word it is usually “-ge” or “-dge”, as words don’t usually end in “-j”). Individuals with dyslexia may also have trouble with memorization of letters and numbers, and will have trouble with reading and spelling. Learning foreign languages will likely be challenging, as well.

Preschool-Aged Signs: Most preschool-aged children exhibiting signs of dyslexia will have difficulty with phonemic awareness, or the ability to identify and manipulate individual sounds in words (e.g., “what is ‘bug’ without the /b/”). Other signs include:

  • Trouble reading single words
  • Trouble generating rhyming words or identifying which words don’t belong
  • Reversing letters and words (e.g., tab/bat)
  • Difficulty segmenting words (e.g., “clap the syllables in ‘ice cream’”)

Elementary-Aged Signs: Once children enter elementary school, the demands for reading and writing become greater. Children not previously identified as being at-risk may begin to exhibit signs as school work becomes more challenging. These children often have average or above average IQ, but demonstrate below grade-level reading and writing abilities. Other signs include:

  • Trouble sequencing (e.g., steps, alphabet, naming months)
  • Continued trouble with rhyming
  • Difficulty with word finding (e.g., relying on “stuff,” “things” or other generic words)
  • Difficulty with organization and studying
  • Trouble with story telling
  • Avoidance or dislike of reading

Should an individual demonstrate some of these signs, it is not necessarily indicative of dyslexia. Other reading or language disorders may play a factor. However, if these difficulties persist through childhood and beyond, children may have difficulty with success in school. Phonics-based programs, like Orton-Gillingham or Wilson, explicitly target the relationship between sounds and letters. These programs, rooted in the alphabetic principle, systematically introduce the rule of language to help children who are struggling.

Click here to learn more about our Orton-Gillingham Reading Center.

Dyslexia

A Reading List for your Child or Teen with Dyslexia

 Many times, children with dyslexia are misunderstood. Dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence, but when grades are low and reading skills are poor, the lines become blurred. This can often make kids feel insecure about their abilities. Dyslexia is quite common, so you and your child are not alone, although it may feel like it at times.

Here is a list of recommended books for children and teens from the Illinois Branch of The International Dyslexia Association:

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ― Charles William Eliot

Bauer, James. (1992). The Runaway Learning Machine: Growing Up Dyslexic.  Minneapolis, MN: Educational Media Corporation.

Barrie, Barbara. (1994). Adam Zigzag . New York, NY: Delacorte Press. (young teens)

Betancourt, Jeanne. (1993). My Name is Brain/Brian . New York, NY: Scholastic, Inc.

Blue, Rose. (1979). Me and Einstein . New York, NY: Human Sciences Press. (young teens)

Dwyer, Kathleen M. (1991). What Do You Mean I Have a Learning Disability?  New York, NY: Walker & Co. (elementary)

Fisher, Gary & Cummings, Rhonda (1991). The School Survival Guide for Kids with LD.  Minneapolis, MN:Free Spirit Publishing, Inc. (young teens)

Gehret, Jeanne. (1990). The Don’t Give Up Kid and Learning Disabilities . Minneapolis, MN: Raising Readers. (elementary to young teens)

Griffith, Joe. (1998). How Dyslexic Benny Became A Star.  Dallas, TX: Yorktown Press. (young teens)

Hayes, Marnell L. (1994). The Turned In, Turned On Book . Novato, CA: High Noon Books. (teens)

Janover, Caroline. (1995). The Worst Speller In Jr. High , Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing. (teens)

Levine, M.D., Mel. (2001) Jarvis Clutch – Social Spy . Cambridge, MA: Educators Publishing Service. (elementary to teens)

Polacco, P. (1998). Thank You Mr. Falker . New York, NY: Putnam Publishing Group. (elementary)

Richards, Regina G. (2000) Eli: The Boy Who Hated to Write – Understanding Dysgraphia . Riverside, CA:RET Center Press.

Stern, M.A., Judith and Ben-Ami, Ph.D., Uzi. (1996). Many Ways to Learn: Young People’s Guide to

Learning Disabilities . New York, NY: Magination. (elementary to early teens) [audiotape also available.]

If you would like to have general information on any of the books listed here, you can search The National Library Service at www.loc.gov/nls. Click on “Search the Catalog:” and type in the book title orthe author’s name to do a search for a short description of the book. Many of these authors have published multiple books on Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities.

Debunking Dyslexia Myths

Dyslexia is a word that often stirs up fear and misunderstanding. In addition, it is awash in myths. Often, people think of adyslexia person with Dyslexia as an individual who confuses b’s and d’s or reads backwards. Others may think of a troubled reader who is confused by basic letters.  This simplistic and incorrect understanding of Dyslexia often causes people, especially parents, to feel a series of negative emotions when their child has trouble reading and a Dyslexia diagnosis is given. In reality, as many as 1 in 5 children are diagnosed with Dyslexia, which is defined a deficit in the phonological processing component of language that results in trouble reading and decoding words. Read on for the truth about Dyslexia.

Dyslexia myths and the truths behind them:

  • Myth: “Dyslexia means readers see letters and words backwards.”
  • Fact: Letter reversals are a symptom of Dyslexia; however, this is not the condition itself. Dyslexia is a much more complex phonological processing disorder in which the reader has difficulty associating the letters and the resulting sounds. Read more

3 Signs Your Child May Have Dyslexia | Pediatric Therapy Tv

In today’s Webisode, an Academic Specialist explains ways to determine if your child has dyslexia.

Click here to learn more about dyslexia and find out more signs and characteristics to look for.

In this video you will learn:

  • What is dyslexia
  • How do children develop dyslexia
  • What are common signs in children with dyslexia

Video Transcription:

Announcer: From Chicago’s leading experts in pediatrics to a worldwide
audience, this is Pediatric Therapy TV where we provide experience and
innovation to maximize your child’s potential. Now your host, here’s Robyn.

Robyn: Hello, and welcome to Pediatric Therapy TV. I’m your host Robyn
Ackerman. I’m sitting here today with Elizabeth Galin [SP], an academic
specialist. Elizabeth, can you tell us three signs to look out for that a
child may suffer from dyslexia?

Elizabeth: Absolutely. And to start, dyslexia is a learning disability
characterized by an inability to decode words. So kids who have dyslexia
show trouble with spelling, with reading fluently, reading with accuracy.
It’s a deficit in the phonological component of language. So the first
thing that is a sign that your child may have dyslexia is a lack of
interest in reading. Most young children really enjoy reading and look
forward to that time but dyslexic kids, it’s difficult so they might run
away and hide. They’re not interested. Second is a lack of understanding
that letters make a sound, the phonological component again. So each letter
has an associated sound and that’s a really difficult association for
dyslexic kids to make. And lastly, dyslexic kids, when they begin to read
once they get a little bit older, they often make reading errors that
really just don’t even connect to the word at all. It’s different sounds.
Dyslexic kids often have a hard time sounding out words, and they have a
hard time with even the most basic of sight words. So if you’re seeing any
of those in your child, it might be worth a look.

Robyn: All right. Thank you so much, Elizabeth, and thank you to our
viewers and remember, keep on blossoming.

Announcer: This has been Pediatric Therapy TV, where we bring peace of mind
to your family with the best in educational programming. To subscribe to
our broadcast, read our blogs, or learn more, visit our website at
learnmore.me. That’s learnmore.me.

10 Signs of a Reading Disorder

Many people believe that reading is a natural process that comes easily to children, especially in homes that value literacy.  This assumption can be frustrating and heartbreaking to a parent of a child with dyslexia or reading comprehension problems. Approximately 1 in 5 children have dyslexia, which is defined as trouble recognizing and decoding words, most likely due to a deficit in the phonological component of language.  Here are several things to look for in developing readers that may signal dyslexia or a reading comprehension problem:

10 signs that your child may have a reading disorder: Little girl picking behind a book

  1. An intense dislike and avoidance of reading time
  2. A lack of understanding that words can be broken down into smaller parts
  3. Difficulty associating letters with sounds
  4. Inability to sound out simple words
  5. Imprecise language
  6. A family history of reading problems
  7. Reading errors that are not connected to the sounds of the letters in the words
  8. Difficulty finding the right word or coming up with a verbal response
  9. Mispronunciation of long words
  10. Lack of fluent speech

Dyslexic children are bright and talented in many ways, and there is help for dyslexic readers.  The Orton-Gillingham method is a systematic, multi-sensory approach that helps dyslexic children break the reading code and succeed.  If you worry that your child may have a reading comprehension problem, schedule a consultation with one of our Orton-Gillingham trained academic specialists.

For more information on Dyslexia Treatment, please click here.

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7 Things Every Parent Should Consider When Hiring a Tutor

Whether your teacher suggests you seek additional tutoring services to help your child or you are faced with the diagnosis of a learning or behavioral disorder, finding a tutor can become an intimidating experience.

An academic tutor can be the solution to tackling reading and writing difficulties or mastering skills, but with so many tutoring centers, private tutors, on-line sources, what is the best solution for your child? What kind of tutor will best address your child’s needs? Who will best help your child become academically successful and happy?

7 Things Every Parent Should Consider When Hiring a Tutor

1.  Experience & Credentials:

How long has he or she been a teacher or academic tutor? What is his or her educational background, degrees, additional training and/or professional experience? Is his or her teaching method(s) based on proven research?

2.  Rapport:tutor reading with girl

Sounds basic, but does your child like the tutor? No one wants to please someone they don’t like or respect and this is the same for your child and their tutor. An open, caring relationship is vital to ensure your child’s dedication to achieve hard to reach goals and provide the motivation needed, especially to a child who could be lacking in faith. Oftentimes, when a parent is seeking out a tutor a child knows failure all too well. A tutor is an opportunity for a child to not only gain knowledge, but also be successful. Success will lead to more confidence and a greater intent on learning. Tutoring can be a great step in helping your child achieve his or her academic goals and become a happy, confident learner.

3.  Academic Plan:

Ask for an overview of what the tutor plans to do with your child.

Is it a computer based program or individual instruction? What materials or program will be used? What assessment will be used to create a tutoring plan that is specific and unique to your child? What feedback will be used to keep you informed of progress?

4.  One-on-One:

Does the tutoring take place one-on-one or in a group setting? One-on-one tutoring may cost more but far outweighs a group setting in terms of academic progress. Every child is different and one-on-one tutoring provides direct, focused instruction. This is especially important if your child has a condition such as ADHD and/or dyslexia.

5.  Commitment:

Is the tutor passionate about helping your child reach their goals? Are they dedicated and determined to make needed changes, accept feedback, and adjust instruction according to your child’s needs?

6.  Location & Environment:

Where does the tutoring take place? Is it in your home, at the library, in a tutoring center? Is the location convenient for you and conducive to your child’s learning?

7.  Cost & Fees:

Ask the tutor or tutoring center about costs and fees. How long is a session? What is the cost? Be sure to find out about payments and any miscellaneous fees for supplies or testing. What is the policy for missed appointments?

To meet with a trained and certified tutor, click here!

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Dyslexia Signs and Characteristics

Dyslexia, also known as developmental reading disorder, refers to child’s difficulty with reading, writing, and spelling due to the brain’s decreased recognition of symbols (such as letters and numbers).  Read below for more information on Signs and Characteristics of Dyslexia

Signs of Dyslexia:girl reading

  • Difficulty reading single words, such as a word on a flashcard
  • Difficulty learning the connection between letters and sounds
  • Confusing small words, such as at and to
  • Letter reversals, such as d for b
  • Word reversals, such as tip for pit
  • Frequently adds and/or forgets letters in a word
  • Remembering simple sequences, for example names of people, telephone numbers
  • Difficulty understanding rhyming words
  • Recognize words that begin with the same sound
  • Easily clap hands to the rhythm of a song
  • Show understanding of right-left, up-down, front-back
  • Sit still for a reasonable period of time
  • Have difficulty with handwriting
  • Other members of your family having similar problems
  • Dreads verbal instructions
  • Difficulty keeping place when reading

Common Characteristics of Dyslexia Include:

  • Often gifted and creative
  • Difficulty rhyming words and sounds
  • Poor sequencing of numbers (12 for 21) and words (was for saw)
  • Poor spelling
  • Avoids reading aloud
  • Difficulty organizing ideas to speak or write
  • Avoids writing tasks
  • Left/right confusion
  • Slow to memorize alphabet and math facts
  • Reading comprehension difficulties
  • Trouble following oral instructions
  • Appearing restless or easily distracted

For more information on Dyslexia Treatment, please click here.

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Checklist References:
http://www.interdys.org/SignsofDyslexiaCombined.htm
http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/files/extranet/docs/SWA/dys%20checklist.pdf