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Thoughtful Parenting: Learning about dyslexia during awareness month

Kim Schulz
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

Why does dyslexia need an awareness month? The short answer to this question is the prevalence and misunderstanding of it.

Studies from the National Institute of Health and Yale University show that about 15% to 20% of the population with average to superior intelligence struggle with reading, writing and/or spelling. It is likely that you know someone with this brain-based learning difference. Even though the prevalence is high, many people, including teachers, are not really sure what it means to be dyslexic.

Dyslexia awareness locally

Off the Beaten Path and Bud Werner Memorial Library:

• Book displays and information about dyslexia in October

Bud Werner Memorial Library:

• Oct. 16: Beginning Reading Workshop and Storytime

• Oct. 20: Fish in a Tree Book Club for 8- to 12-year-olds

Resources for dyslexia:

• The International Dyslexia Association: DyslexiaiDA.org

• The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity: Dyslexia.Yale.edu

• Understood: Understood.org

• Learning Ally: LearningAlly.org

Facts about dyslexia

• People with dyslexia typically have challenges with accurate and fluent reading and spelling.



• Dyslexia is not a vision problem, and people do not see letters or words backwards.

• Dyslexia runs in families.



• Dyslexia is not curable and is lifelong.

• With the right instruction and support, people with dyslexia can learn to read and write.

• Each person with dyslexia is unique in regards to particular challenges and strengths.

Early signs

As a parent, you may see signs at an early age that your child is having difficulty with language skills that are the foundations for reading. Since dyslexia is a language-based learning difference, these are some potential signs to look out for as early as preschool.

• Trouble with nursery rhymes.

• Not recognizing rhyming words.

• Difficulty learning the names and sounds of letters, even in their own name.

• Trouble learning numbers, days of the week or colors.

• Mispronouncing words (more than peers).

• Trouble recalling the right words for things.

Importance of early intervention

As we identify the early signs of dyslexia, we can provide intervention earlier and make an impact on the trajectory for children.

The kind of support needed to learn to read and write may need to be more intensive early on, and children may need certain accommodations to support the way they learn as they get older.

When we provide the support for children to learn early on, we can prevent the negative social and emotional impacts that dyslexia can have.


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