What is Dyslexia?

I am often asked, “does my child have dyslexia.” A follow-up question usually pertains to what exactly is “dyslexia” and what can a parent do to help.

‘Dyslexia’ vs a ‘Learning Disability’

Dyslexia (disorder of reading) and Dysgraphia (disorder of writing) are two conditions that are often labeled by school districts, more generally, as a “learning disability”. In fact, over 90% of students classified as having a ‘Specific Learning Disability’ (and given an IEP) are classified as such because they have some form of dyslexia.

Like father, like son

These conditions are almost always inherited (that’s right kids, don’t say your parents never gave you anything) and can greatly interfere with a child’s ability to make progress in school.

More than just a reading disorder

Dyslexia is actually a problem with the processing of language; kids have difficulty processing the sequence of sounds that comprise spoken words. Consequently, you get words like “psghetti” and “amninal.” Interesting, these kiddos genuinely don’t ‘hear’ themselves saying the words incorrectly so it’s difficult for them to self-correct. Moreover, they also struggle with visually processing the specific sounds. Consequently, they may read “gut” for “glut” and so on.