Black boy doing homework in copybook: Dyslexia Awareness Month
Photo by Katerina Holmes:

Dyslexia Awareness Month is in October and it aims to bring awareness and support to those with this learning disability.

Although October is Dyslexia Awareness Month, dyslexia is a daily reality for many people and children around the world.

However, while we focus on dyslexia awareness during October, we are reminded that we should use our resources and knowledge to support people with dyslexia every day of the year.

Dyslexia Awareness Month shines a light on the issue of dyslexia by providing information on dyslexia and allowing those who have this learning disability to share their experiences and how they would like to be supported.

This article on Dyslexia Awareness Month will highlight some things to know about dyslexia.

What is Dyslexia?

closeup photo of assorted colour alphabets: Dyslexia Awareness Month
Photo by Magda Ehlers:

Dyslexia is the term used to describe the language-based learning disability in reading, spelling and writing.

A learning disability disrupts the normal function of the brain that makes us able to understand and use spoken and written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate our movements and focus our attention.

Dyslexia can be manifested in slow reading, problems with spelling and writing, and mixing up words.

Dyslexia is a developmental disorder which means that the onset of it is in childhood. Children do not outgrow dyslexia which means that it continues into adulthood.

Researchers believe that Dyslexia runs in families and has a neurological (relating to the function of the brain) component.

Intelligence does not affect dyslexia nor does dyslexia affects a child’s intelligence. Dyslexia is a specific problem with phonological awareness which is the ability to recognise the sound of spoken language.

Phonological awareness involves the ability to identify words that rhyme, count the number of syllables in a word, and noticing of sound repetition.

Dyslexia Awareness: What are the Symptoms?

girl in pink and yellow crew neck t-shirt holding brown notebook: Dyslexia Awareness
Photo by Julia M Cameron:

Dyslexia Awareness Month aims to empower through education, therefore, knowing about the symptoms of dyslexia can be the first step in early intervention and getting your child the support they need.

While this list is not exhaustive, these are some of the symptoms that children with dyslexia may display.

1. Difficulty remembering the letters of the alphabet

2. Mispronouncing familiar words

3. Mixing up letters, for example, “t” for “d”

4. Trouble recognising rhyming patterns

5. Reads slower than peers

6. Writes letters backwards, for example, “b” for “d”

7. Has trouble recognising the difference between certain letters or words

8. Writes slowly or has trouble writing clearly with many grammar mistakes

9. Has trouble understanding what they read

10. Often misspelling words

11. Struggles to follow sequenced instructions

12. Has trouble remembering the correct words for things

13. Avoids reading in public

How is Dyslexia Diagnosed?

If you notice any of the above symptoms, or others not listed here, you might want to consider getting your child assessed for dyslexia.

A dyslexia diagnosis can only be done by an educational or clinical psychologist or other professionals who are certified to complete a dyslexia diagnostic assessment.

A dyslexia diagnosis involves an evaluation or testing of the common issues known to be associated with dyslexia.

Also important to note is that the earlier your child gets diagnosed with dyslexia, the better it will be for their learning and development. Early diagnosis will lead to early interventions where your child is supported throughout school and will be given the tools that they will need to excel despite their learning disability.

Developmentally, early diagnosis and intervention can also prevent and reduce some of the negative effects of dyslexia such as low self-esteem, behavioural problems, anxiety and school avoidance.

If you have concerns about your child’s reading and writing language development, speak to your child’s school and ask for a referral for a dyslexia assessment.

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