Dyslexia is a reading disability. It is now also known as Developmental Reading Disorder (DRD). It is a form of learning disability. It affects approximately 5-10% 0f the population.
Developmental Reading Disorder (DRD) in the simplest form, it is best described as an impairment where the the brain does not properly recognize or process certain symbols (such as letters). It is an impairment in the learning of reading skills despite normal intelligence and motivation. Students with DRD tend to have greater difficulties in school.
Children with DRD often require two to three times as much time as other children to read and understand. Slower reading also reduces their understanding what has been read, particularly when reading longer sentences. These children also have greater difficulties with spelling.
Most children are ready to learn reading by kindergarten or first grade, but children with DRD often can’t grasp the basics of reading by that time. There is a strong relationship between language delay in early childhood and reading difficulties in school. Children with language impairment have significantly lower reading and writing scores than their typically developing peers.
Poorer grammar development and word knowledge (not just vocabulary) are also predictors of the likelihood of DRD. Below average language skills in preschool place a child at risk for deficits in pre-literacy skills, which may have implications for the later development of reading disability.
Speech delay and language developmental delay in early childhood is the first sign of possible DRD later in life. Problems with grammar and appropriate use and retrieval of words often exist along with reading difficulties.
Research has shown evidence that many children respond positively to early reading intervention. Therapy and intervention for students with DRD takes a multi-tier approach. Early intervention for dyslexia is important. Speech therapy is indicated for children with reading disabilities.
Speech and language therapy will benefit preschool children with speech difficulties and language impairment in facilitating pre-literacy skills. Focus on phonological awareness is key to successful intervention. Developing story retelling, or narrative, skill is a critical. Early speech therapy intervention for children at risk has been found to help with children’s narrative skills.
Talk to our speech therapists if your child’s reading level is below what’s expected for his or her age or if you notice other signs or symptoms of dyslexia.