What is Dyslexia (Developmental reading disorder)

Dyslexia, also commonly known as Developmental Reading Disorder, is a reading disability resulting from the inability of an individual to process and interpret symbols. The widely accepted view today is that dyslexia is a verbal deficit and can be considered part of the continuum of language disorders.

Statistics on Dyslexia (Developmental reading disorder)

Dyslexia is common. Studies have demonstrated that there are approximately 2 to 8% of primary school aged children who have some degree of reading disability. The exact figures are unknown.

Risk Factors for Dyslexia (Developmental reading disorder)

Dyslexia tends to runs in families, and relatives of dyslexic individuals often have other language problems. Dyslexia is more common in boys than girls. There is strong evidence that there is an inherited component; the probability of a boy becoming dyslexic if his father is dyslexic can be as high as 50%.

Progression of Dyslexia (Developmental reading disorder)

Dyslexia is a developmental disorder that affects people of all ages. Studies of children at risk of dyslexia have reported difficulties in speech production during infancy, followed by slower learning of vocabulary during the preschool years, and finally problems with pronunciation and alphabet knowledge in young schoolchildren. In addition, parents often report delayed speech and language among children with reading difficulties. Most children who are diagnosed with dyslexia have normal or above average intelligence. For this reason dyslexia is thought to be caused by a problem in parts of the brain responsible for processing symbols (written language). Dyslexia may appear in combination with a writing or arithmetic disorder. All of these activities involve the understanding and processing of symbols in order to understand them. Other causes of developmental disorders must be ruled out before dyslexia is diagnosed. Cultural and educational shortfalls, emotional problems, mental retardation, and diseases of the brain (for example AIDS) can all cause learning disabilities.

How is Dyslexia (Developmental reading disorder) Diagnosed?

When diagnosing dyslexia a medical, developmental, social, home and school performance history must be completed. A physical examination is performed to exclude other possible causes of poor school performance. Children who might have learning disabilities also receive additional aptitude and achievement assessment by a psychologist.

Prognosis of Dyslexia (Developmental reading disorder)

Marked improvement in reading and understanding can be achieved with remedial instruction. However, difficulties with reading may persist throughout adulthood. A significant improvement in understanding of symbols and being able to read them can be achieved with positive intervention. This being said, difficulties in reading and writing can persist throughout adulthood.

How is Dyslexia (Developmental reading disorder) Treated?

Treatment of learning problems usually is conducted outside of the medical environment. Treatment of dyslexia includes educational remediation for poor skills, making modifications to the learning environment, and addressing any medical and mental health issues. Psychological counselling may help address additional issues such as poor self-esteem and mood disturbances. All children that suffer from dyslexia will have different requirements and it is for this reason that the best approach for each individual should be taken, rather than a blanket approach for all dyslexic individuals. Special educations services made available at a number of schools can be of invaluable assistance. They can provide specialist help, individual tutoring and supervision and in some cases sit in on classes with the dyslexic child and assist in day to day studies.

Dyslexia (Developmental reading disorder) References

  1. Fletcher JM, Shaywitz SE, Shaywitz BA: Comorbidity of learning and attention disorders. Separate but equal. Pediatric Clinics of North America 1999; 46 (5): 885-97
  2. Luttinger, H. Learning Disorder: Written Expression. eMedicine 2005.
  3. Medline.
  4. National institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
  5. Snowling M. Dyslexia: a hundred years on. BMJ 1996;313:1096-1097.
  6. WETA: Web site on learning disabilities for parents, teachers and other professionals. 2002; Available at: http://www.ldonline.com