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