Starting school can be a stressful time for both you and your child. Seeing new faces, completing new tasks, and being away from mom and dad can cause a child to have difficulties completing work in school. However, if these difficulties persist after the child has settled in to the new routine, you may want to take your child to the doctor to have him or her evaluated for learning disabilities such as dyslexia. You can learn more about dyslexia below.
Dyslexia was first identified in Germany in 1881 and was also referred to as "congenital word blindness" in the medical literature of the day. Dyslexia is a neurological condition which affect's a person's ability to read and write, making it difficult to read menus as well as books, bus time tables, and other printed materials. Dyslexia also affects the sufferer's ability to translate printed words into sound and back again. Estimates indicate that 5-10 percent of people are affected by the condition to varying degrees.
It is almost impossible to diagnose dyslexia before a child begins to learn to read - i.e. before the child's first year in school. In the early stages of schooling, signs of dyslexia include difficulty learning the alphabet, reversing letters, mixing up word sounds, slow or poor reading of books, bad spelling, trouble defining words, and being disorganized, late, or forgetful. In adults, dyslexia often manifests as writing and reading skills that are below their age and education level.
Before you decide that your child has dyslexia because someone told you about the symptoms, it's important to have a thorough examination by a doctor. Sometimes dyslexia-like symptoms can be caused by hearing and vision problems. Additionally, the child's disability should be limited to reading comprehension, with no effect on the child's cognitive development, IQ, or ability to interact with peers.
There is no cure for dyslexia, but once the condition is identified it need not keep a child from achieving his or her dream. Schools and workplaces are required to accommodate such learning disabilities and often do so by allowing more time for reading and understanding test questions or by giving tests and quizzes orally. More help with learning to read and the teaching of information extraction is also helpful, as are computer text to speech programs.
Visit the Mayo Clinic for more information on treatment of Dyslexia.