Speech Pathology Dyslexia

Definition of Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neuro-biological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and / or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
[Adopted by the IDA (International Dyslexia Association) Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002. This Definition is also used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) - http://www.interdys.org/FAQWhatIs.htm ]

Common signs of dyslexia:

  • Problems learning letters and their sounds
  • Spelling problems
  • Hard to memorize number facts
  • Can't read fast enough to understand

Note: Not all children who show these signs are dyslexic. Formal testing is required to confirm a diagnosis.

What to do if you suspect your child might have dyslexia:

If you suspect your child might have dyslexia, talk to your primary care physician about your concerns. Your physician can refer your child to a Speech-Language Pathologist (or psychologist) at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics for formal testing. Early identification and treatment is key to helping your child.

How is dyslexia diagnosed?

Your speech pathologist (or psychologist) will do formal testing on your child. This testing will include receptive (listening) and expressive (speaking) skills, phonological processing of sounds, memory for sounds, and rapid naming skills. Reading and Spelling will be tested.

How is dyslexia treated?

After testing, if your child is diagnosed with dyslexia, your speech pathologist will provide you with information about community tutors and recommendations for the school special education staff. Your speech pathologist will also discuss 504 accommodations plans.

The Kreamer Family Resource Center at CMH can help families with web-based resources about dyslexia.

 

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