• Dyslexia makes reading difficult; those with this disorder might see words as backwards, upside down, or without spaces in between.
  • This disorder can cause an individual to become frustrated with learning, especially when they aren’t yet aware of their disability.
  • Therefore, understanding the signs of dyslexia and receiving early diagnosis is crucial in managing this disorder.
  • These signs include: reading below the expected level, difficulty processing what one hears, and spending an unusual amount of time completing reading or spelling tasks.
  • There are three parts of your brain involved in reading; when an individual has dyslexia, these three parts of the brain don’t function correctly.
  • Fortunately, those with dyslexia can manage this disorder and still thrive in school by adopting an individualized plan and receiving external support from teachers.

Dyslexia is a disorder that makes reading or interpreting words and letters difficult. Learning to read and write can be difficult for kids that are just starting out and doing so with a learning disability, such as dyslexia, can be extremely frustrating.  People with dyslexia might see words as backwards, upside down, or without spaces in between.  They might read “now” as “won” or “inch” as “chin”. When a child is in the process of learning how to read, and they haven’t been diagnosed with dyslexia, it can be very challenging to determine why they are falling behind. Therefore, understanding the signs and symptoms of dyslexia and tackling this problem early is important.

What Does Dyslexia Look Like in School-Aged Children?

Dyslexia can appear differently in those affected.  As we just mentioned, it is important to be mindful of the symptoms of dyslexia, in hopes of catching it early enough to ensure assistance is provided to those struggling.  Here are several signs of dyslexia: 

  • Reading well below the expected age level
  • Problems processing and understanding what he or she hears
  • Difficulty finding the right word or forming answers to questions
  • Problems remembering the sequence of words and letters 
  • Difficulty seeing (and occasionally hearing) similarities and differences in letters and words
  • Inability to sound out the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word
  • Difficulty spelling
  • Spending an unusually long-time completing tasks that involve reading or writing
  • Avoiding activities that involve reading

Someone with dyslexia can show some of or all of these symptoms, making learning extremely difficult.  When frustration towards learning builds, a child can begin to give up and refuse to participate in school work all together.

Dyslexia and the Brain

The science behind dyslexia shows that there are three parts of your brain involved in reading. When an individual has dyslexia, these three parts of the brain don’t function correctly.  Charissa Andreotti, Ph.D. discusses these three areas of the brain and how they differ in someone with dyslexia:

  1. Broca’s area in the frontal lobe helps people verbalize words that they read on the page.”  When this part of the brain is affected, it becomes evident when the individual has difficulty sounding out the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word.
  2. A second area between the temporal and parietal lobes facilitates phonetic decoding of letter sounds. Neuroimaging studies show that this brain region is less active in individuals with dyslexia.”  This area of the brain is responsible for causing issues with comprehension in individuals with dyslexia.
  3. An area in the occipital lobe recognizes whole words. This area also tends to be more active in better readers and individuals without dyslexia.  When this part of the brain is lacking in individuals with dyslexia, it can be exceptionally harder to complete school work in an acceptable amount of time.

Once you know how dyslexia affects the brain, the symptoms make more sense.  If these three parts of the brain aren’t functioning properly, reading and writing can become increasingly difficult.

Learning to Manage Dyslexia

Learning with dyslexia can be challenging, but it is definitely manageable.  For someone working through school with dyslexia, adopting an individualized plan is a great way to ensure they are on the path toward success. Furthermore, if you are the parent of a child struggling with dyslexia, you can help by reading aloud to them, encouraging more reading, allowing them to learn by using multiple senses, and working with your child’s teacher to see how they can help your child thrive at school despite their learning disability.