A substantial number of enthusiastic, cooperative and bright children may experience significant difficulty with learning to read. We now understand that dyslexia has a neurological basis, and fortunately, it is now possible to accurately identify children who have dyslexia from an early age and treat and remediate their difficulties.
Early identification and treatment has been associated with very positive outcomes Parents can play an active role in the early identification of a reading problem. The following are clues to dyslexia during kindergarten and first grade years. The first clue to a language (and reading problem) may be delayed language. Once your child is speaking, look for the following difficulties:
Kindergarten and First Grade
1. Failure to understand that words come apart; e.g., that football can be pulled apart into ‚Äúfoot‚Äù and ‚Äúball‚Äù, and later on, that the word foot can be broken down and sounded out as ‚Äúf‚Äù ‚Äúoo‚Äù ‚Äút”
2. Inability to learn to associate letters with sounds, such as being unable to connect the letter b with the ‚Äúb‚Äù sound
3. Reading errors that show no connection to the sounds of the letters; e.g., reading ‚Äúbig‚Äù as ‚Äúgoat
4. Difficulty reading common one-syllable words or with sounding out simple words such as mat, cat, hop, nap
5. Complaints about how hard reading is, or attempting to avoid reading (running and hiding
6. A history of reading problems in parents or siblings
If your child has some of these problems, note how frequent they are and how many there are. You don‚Äôt need to worry about isolated clues or ones that appear rarely. If you are concerned about a consistent pattern of problems, you may wish to consult with his or her pediatrician, who can then make a referral for further psycho-educational evaluation, if appropriate.
Learn more about services for dyslexia at Child and Family Development here.