Dyslexia is a term given to a range of difficulties involved with learning to read. Acquiring the skills to read is complex and many children who find reading difficult have a history of early speech and language difficulties. Some of these difficulties may persist.
Dyslexia can be a specific difficulty on its own or it can present alongside other difficulties like autism and attention deficit disorder. The problems that may arise for a child will vary as some children have considerable difficulty acquiring fluent reading and writing skills, while other children have less marked problems but their reading skills are still of concern at school.
The problems that dyslexic children present with include –
- Difficulties with processing auditory information
- Difficulties in identifying individual speech or letter sounds
- Difficulties in being able to break down words into individual sounds
- Not being able to read fluently in line with their peers
- Difficulties with writing and punctuation
- Poor short term and working memory
- Difficulties with identifying the links between sounds and letters
Speech and language can help a child with these difficulties as they have knowledge of speech and language development and they understand the importance of listening skills and sound perception. They can help by -
- Giving one to one therapy to help develop the speech sound system
- Giving therapy to develop general language skills
- Help a child to develop auditory perception and accurate listening skills
- Help with sequencing and memory difficulties
- Advising parents
- Give staff training to schools
Some Speech and Language Therapists have extra qualifications and specialist specific training in reading and writing problems.
Speech and Language Therapists often work with specialist teachers in this field and will offer liaison and advice to all those working with a child with dyslexia.