Dyslexia, a term that resonates with countless individuals, holds both challenges and hidden strengths within its grasp. It is a learning difference that often emerges during childhood, shaping the experiences of those who grapple with the intricate world of words. For some, reading and writing become a puzzle where letters dance and rearrange, causing frustration and self-doubt. Symptoms, such as difficulties with phonics, word recognition, spelling, and comprehension can feel like constant companions on this journey.
Dr Gorav Gupta MD, Psychiatry, Cofounder, Emoneeds, explained dyslexia, its signs, types, and diagnosis, in a conversation with OnlyMyHealth.
What Is Dyslexia
Dr Gupta said, “Dyslexia is a learning disability that impacts an individual’s reading, writing, spelling, and, in some cases, speaking skills. It is rooted in neurological factors and has the potential to impede a person’s academic and career growth.”
The International Dyslexia Association estimates that 15-20% of people worldwide exhibit dyslexia symptoms.
However, contrary to popular belief, dyslexia is not linked to one’s intelligence. The majority of dyslexic children can succeed in school with tutoring or a specialised education programme.
Symptoms and Signs
The symptoms of dyslexia can vary from person to person, but there are several common indicators to watch out for. Dr Gupta said, “Individuals with dyslexia often experience difficulty in recognising and manipulating sounds in words, which can affect their ability to learn phonics and decode words. They may have trouble with spelling, writing, and reading comprehension.” Also, individuals with dyslexia may have difficulty remembering sequences, such as the order of letters, numbers, or days of the week.
Types of Dyslexia
Dyslexia can manifest in different ways, leading to the identification of various types:
- Phonological Dyslexia: This type primarily affects the individual’s ability to decode words accurately. It involves difficulties with recognising and manipulating the sounds of language.
- Surface Dyslexia: Individuals with surface dyslexia struggle with recognising whole words by sight. They may rely heavily on phonetic strategies to read.
- Rapid Naming Deficit: This particular type of dyslexia manifests through the struggle of quickly identifying letters, numbers, or objects. This hinders reading fluency.
- Double Deficit Dyslexia: Individuals with this type exhibit difficulty in both phonological processing and rapid naming skills.
Early identification and intervention are key. Dr Gupta added, “A diagnosis of dyslexia can open doors to specialised instruction tailored to an individual's needs, helping them succeed academically and build self-confidence.” Diagnosing dyslexia involves a comprehensive assessment conducted by qualified professionals, such as psychologists or educational specialists.
- Reading and Spelling Assessments: These evaluate the individual’s reading accuracy, fluency, comprehension, and spelling skills.
- Phonological Awareness Tests: These measure the ability to recognise and manipulate the sounds of language, including phonemes, syllables, and rhymes.
- Cognitive Assessments: These assess cognitive abilities, including memory, attention, and processing speed, to identify any underlying cognitive factors contributing to reading difficulties.
- Vision and Hearing Screening: Vision and hearing problems can affect reading abilities, so it is important to rule out any sensory impairments.
When To See A Doctor
If your child's reading ability is below what is typical for their age, or if you see additional dyslexia symptoms, consult your healthcare provider. Childhood reading problems persist into adulthood when misdiagnosed and improperly addressed.
The information in this article is provided by experts and from reputed journals. However, we recommend you to consult with your expert for a diagnosis tailored to your needs.