As children settle into a new school year, they are making friends, adapting to new teachers and facing new challenges. Some may struggle more than others, but how can you tell if a learning disability is impacting your child’s ability to succeed?
One of the more prominent is dyslexia. Approximately 15 per cent of Canadians struggle with it, yet according to a recent study less than a third of us would be able to recognize the signs.
While dyslexia cannot be cured, with early identification and proper instruction, it can be managed. This is why it’s important to understand how to recognize dyslexia.
Here’s what you need to know:
What is it? Dyslexia is a learning disorder that makes it difficult to identify speech sounds and recognize letters, words and numbers. It affects the way the brain interprets these when putting them together and can often jumble everything up, creating a confusing experience. Dyslexia affects everyone equally, regardless of gender, socio-economic or ethnic background.
What you can do. If you suspect that your child may have dyslexia, don’t wait – act. There are many online screeners that can help identify it. If you think your child has the condition, speak to your school to access additional resources, or contact a tutor who specializes in structured literacy. Find dyslexia support groups to learn more.
How to succeed. “Just because someone is diagnosed with a learning disability doesn’t mean that they cannot be successful. They just learn in a different way,” explains Christine Staley, executive director of Dyslexia Canada. “Early identification and proper reading instruction are key to managing dyslexia and creating a successful future.”
For more information on the test and resources that exist in Canada, please visit dyslexiacanada.org.