Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Does my child have dyslexia?

Most cases of dyslexia are diagnosed in elementary school, and while kindergarten may be too early for an official diagnosis, the signs of dyslexia often begin to show at this age. Dyslexia is a learning disorder which affects the brain’s ability to turn letters, or phonemes, into sounds. It’s actually not at all uncommon, and you’ll find dyslexics in all walks of life, from doctors and lawyers to teachers and scientists. Dyslexics must make some accommodations and learn to read using a different part of their brain, but they can definitely learn to read.

The earlier dyslexia is diagnosed, the easier it is for a child to accommodate for. Some signs of dyslexia include trouble with reading and writing, reading slower than one’s peers, and difficulty with rhyming words too. Though kids can compensate to a degree, these signs are often apparent to the trained eye by 2nd grade. Dyslexia often occurs with one or more other learning disabilities, with dysgraphia (difficulty with handwriting) being one of the more common. Some kids may also have learning difficulties with math, or in some other developmental area.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

phonemic awareness and beginning to read

One of the main challenges of preschool and kindergarten is developing pre-reading skills so that when the time comes, children can succeed at reading. What are pre-reading skills? Letter recognition can be accomplished by seeing, hearing, and beginning writing of the alphabet. How about “A is for apple, B is for bear, C is for….?” Talking to your child about everyday objects and what letter they begin with is an easy way to work on letter recognition.

Reading to your child will also help them understand that text is read from left to right, and books are full of pages that need to be turned, etc. Phonemic awareness is another important skill, which just means learning which letters make which sounds. Learning about words that rhyme is also a great idea and helps kids understand letters and their sounds. Nursery rhymes and silly children’s songs are great!