What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability which interferes with the acquisition and processing of language. This can lead to challenges in reading, spelling, writing and even math.

According to the National Institute of Health, dyslexia impacts 20% of the U.S. population (1 in 5 people). Statistically, in an average classroom of 30 children, approximately 6 students may have dyslexia of varying degrees.

Although dyslexia is lifelong, treatment at a young age can greatly reduce the negative impacts of the disorder.

What Causes Dyslexia?

The exact causes of dyslexia are still not completely clear, but studies have shown that the brain of an individual with dyslexia develops and functions in a different way.

Dyslexia is not due to a lack of intelligence or effort, sensory impairment, or inadequate education – it can occur in individuals of all backgrounds and intellectual levels. Dyslexia can run in families, occur in all age groups, and the severity of the disorder varies from person to person.

Research has also shown that at least 40% of individuals with dyslexia also have ADD/ADHD.

Signs and Symptoms

Many think that individuals with dyslexia simply “read backwards” – this is a common myth. Dyslexia causes difficulties in processing and using written language.

Some of the signs of dyslexia include, but are not limited to:

  • Delayed speech
  • Difficulty learning letters and their sounds
  • Difficulty spelling
  • Difficulty reading accurately and fluently
  • Avoids reading aloud
  • Slow, laborious writing that is difficult to read
  • Difficulty with telling time, math facts, times tables
  • Confuses or misreads words
  • May be disorganized, lose things, forget to complete homework assignments
  • Difficulty with comprehension

Dyslexia Treatment at Guthrie

Guthrie is proud to offer this outpatient program, featuring:

  • Licensed Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) trained in the diagnosis and treatment of this
  • specific learning disability
  • Treatment for children who may not qualify for school-based dyslexia services, or for children who need additional help. We work with the patient’s school-based special education department, teachers and other school staff to develop an individualized treatment plan
  • Expert care and support for this condition

Formal testing of reading, language and writing skills is necessary to confirm a suspected diagnosis of dyslexia. Early assessment and intervention result in the best outcomes.

The steps to having your child evaluated and treated for dyslexia, if necessary, are:

  • Child’s caregiver seeks out a referral from their child’s primary care provider, and makes an appointment with a speech-language pathologist (SLP)
  • The child is evaluated by an SLP utilizing standardized testing assessments
  • The SLP meets with the caregiver(s) to discuss results and review an individualized dyslexia care plan
  • A one-on-one treatment plan is implemented involving an advanced phonics program
  • The child’s progress is reviewed and future recommendations are made

Outpatient dyslexia therapy services are offered at three Guthrie Rehabilitation locations.

Ask your primary care provider for a referral today, or call 866-GUTHRIE (866-488-4743) to learn more.

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