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What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects the way in which the brain processes the intake of language. These difficulties in processing encompass the visual formation of letters, arrangement of letters into words, the phonetic development of words and overall reading comprehension, among other aspects of the intake of language communication. The severity and extent of these processing issues differs from individual to individual. It is the most common learning disability experienced by children, and its symptoms continue throughout the lifespan. Individuals may learn ways to compensate for their limitations over time. Keep reading to learn more about this prevalent learning issue, its causes and existing treatments.

Causes

Reading difficulties associated with this learning disability are not due to lack of intelligence or other resources. It is believed to be primarily due to the fact that the brains of affected individuals cannot process the smallest parts of language that differentiate words from each other, known as phonemes. This does not mean there is brain damage or mental retardation in such people. It is merely a mix up in the signals involved in breaking down the components of reading. Heredity may also be a factor in determining who develops these specific kinds of reading problems. Research that has identified possible contributing genes is quite promising in the early identification of reading processing impairments. Catching the problem at a younger age allows for easier treatment and incorporation of compensatory skills.

Types

There are several types of dyslexia, each with different causes and outcomes. Primary is the most prominent type, and it is caused by a malfunctioning in the cerebral cortex of the brain. It does not occur due to outside forces and may be hereditary. This form causes varying levels of reading problems that can usually be overcome in ways that allow affected individuals to be successful students. Some people may continue to struggle with reading to some extent throughout their lifetimes. The secondary type is also referred to as developmental. This kind is related to problems with developmental formation of the brain in utero. Improvement is frequently seen with age. In both of these, boys are affected more often than girls.

A third kind of reading disability is known as trauma because it most often occurs during a traumatic event to the brain. This form is a rarity in today’s society. Visual and auditory are two additional branches of the dyslexic spectrum in which the brain improperly processes signals related to vision and hearing respectively. Finally, there is dysgraphia. This differs a bit in that it mostly affects the motor coordination necessary in holding a pencil in order to form written communication.

Diagnosis and Treatment

A child’s teachers can provide insight on the ways in which the individual reading difficulties are being expressed and the effects they may have on the child. In addition, it is imperative to seek assistance from the child’s doctor in order to receive additional guidance. Diagnostic testing is done by the school psychologist or independent professional in order to determine whether a learning impairment exists and to what extent. It is the right of every public school student to receive guidance from a teach made up of educational officials, along with parents, to formulate an assessment plan to assist the child in their learning goals.

Learning difficulties don’t have to signal a life sentence of struggle. With early detection and support, a child diagnosed with dyslexia can go on to perform well academically and in other aspects of their life.