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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.

Girl reading with Orton-Gillingham

Benefits of Orton-Gillingham Reading Therapy

WHAT IS ORTON-GILLINGHAM?

Orton-Gillingam is a program that uses a flexible approach to target issues commonly associated dyslexia, such as reading, spelling and writing. This therapy uses both direct and systematic approaches, making what comes naturally to some children more explicit for those who may be struggling to learn the rules of literacy. Orton-Gillingham targets literacy using a multisensory approach, having children learn and practice rules using verbal, visual, and tactile/kinesthetic means to increase association and carryover.Girl reading with Orton-Gillingham

CAN IT HELP MY CHILD?

Orton-Gillingham can help children who are struggling with sound/letter correspondence. Orton-Gillingham uses the “alphabetic principle,” highlighting 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”). This direct instruction explicitly targets the rules of literacy, including (but not limited to): magic-e, blends, clusters, sion/tion, vowels, and others. Orton-Gillingham can help improve your child’s ability to read, write and spell, as well as:

  • Decrease reading avoidance
  • Increase segmenting/blending skills
  • Improve understanding of sound-letter relationships
  • Increase ability to sound out words
  • Reduce frustration when reading
  • Improve understanding of spoken and written language

If your child has been diagnosed with dyslexia or has been performing well below grade level, a licensed speech-language pathologist or academic specialists can help! Our SLPs have been trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach and can help if classroom instruction in reading and spelling has been unsuccessful.


 

 

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.

What is Orton-Gillingham Reading Therapy?

Reading is essential for learning.  It is not uncommon for children who are struggling academically to have a reading disorder.   At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, we have clinicians who have been specially trained in the Orton-Gillingham reading program.

What is the Orton-Gillingham Reading Program?

The Orton Gillingham reading program is a multi-sensory, kinesthetic, and phonics based approach.  OG follows structured lesson plans week to week that utilize multi-sensory activities that include the auditory, tactile, and visual senses. There are 5 levels, and each lesson plan integrates morphemic, syllabic, syntactic, semantic, grammatical, and diagraphic skills. Overall phonological awareness, decoding, encoding, and reading comprehension skills are targeted. Read more

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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