Autism Tests & Diagnosis
What is dyslexia? What symptoms of dyslexia should you look for in children? How do you test for dyslexia? How does dyslexia effect a child's future? What dyslexia treatments are available?
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a neurological problem that effects the ability to read, write and spell. Many dyslexics also have a very limited short-term memory and often children with dyslexia are clumsy. The cause of dyslexia is not known but several different areas of the brain have been identified as being different from non-dyslexics. Over recent years a lot of evidence points to the cerebellum as being the cause of dyslexia.
Symptoms of Dyslexia
The sad fact is that most children are only diagnosed with dyslexia after several years of struggling at school. Learning to read, write and spell are not related to intelligence so any child in a mainstream school who is behind their peers at language skills, whether they be verbal or written, should be considered for dyslexia testing.
A dyslexic child will often have problems with their five senses, especially vision and hearing. Dyslexics may find it difficult to hear exactly what is being said so they become isolate as they are unable to keep up with their classmates conversations. Sometimes their hearing will be over sensitive and they choose to spend a lot of time alone to avoid the shouts and boisterous behavior of other children. Other problems with their senses may be sensitivity to bright light, particular smells and the feel of certain fabrics. Other dyslexia signs can show themselves in general clumsiness, under achievement in sports and a tendency to motion sickness. These indicate an under-developed cerebellum or weak vestibular balance system.
Schools are often reluctant to send children for dyslexia testing because its expensive and if the child is dyslexic they will require additional teaching time. Consequently too many children are not diagnosed until their problems are too serious to ignore. Many parents resort to paying for it themselves through bodies like the British Dyslexia Association.
Technology is allowing children to be tested earlier. Dyslexia screening, using software such as Lucid Dyslexia Screening is an effective first step towards early diagnosis. However a full dyslexia test will still be required.
The Future for Dyslexic Children
Dyslexia is a handicap and makes everyday activities harder. Some studies have shown that the dyslexic's brain needs to work ten to twenty times harder than a non-dyslexic brain to achieve the same goal. This constant extra effort is one of the reasons why so many dyslexic children fail at school. However some people believe that dyslexia is a gift, alleging that it bestows some sort of extra creativity.
The simple truth is that dyslexic children's long-term quality of life is very heavily dependent on how early they are diagnosed and how good their treatment is. The Curse of Illiteracy in our computer dependent society carries a very high price.
There are many dyslexia treatments available. Many are designed to teach reading to dyslexics. Other focus on the balance and coordination in an attempt to tackle the root causes of dyslexia. Some offer apparently easy ways to tackle dyslexia through dietary supplements such as omega-3.
Very few dyslexia treatments have had rigorous scientific testing to prove they work so selecting the right treatment amongst all the different claims can be difficult. Even among the proven treatments, a particular treatment may work on one person but not on another. The Log Jam Hypothesis suggests that multiple different approaches will be required before a dyslexic child is set free of their disability.
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