Do you wonder why your child struggles to read? It could be dyslexia.
Dyslexia is a neurological disorder that affects reading skills. People with dyslexia struggle with phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is the understanding that spoken words are composed of individual sounds and that these sounds can be manipulated to create new words.
For example, the word “bat” can be changed to “mat” by changing the “b” sound to an “m” sound.
The good news is that there is help for people with dyslexia. Reading assessments can help determine why your child struggles with reading. In fact, dyslexia can be diagnosed as young as 4-6 years old. So, don’t wait to see why your child is struggling! If it is dyslexia, it is not developmental.
What Are the Differences Between Developmental Reading Disorders and Dyslexia?
A developmental reading disorder is a problem that affects a person’s ability to read at their grade/age level. It can be caused by several factors, such as difficulty understanding spoken language, poor vision, ADHD, or problems with fine motor skills.
A developmental reading disorder can make it difficult for a person to read fluently and accurately. They may need help understanding what they read or be unable to remember the meaning of words they have just read. This can make it difficult for them to do well in school and achieve their full potential.
Dyslexia is a reading disorder that affects reading accuracy and fluency caused by a phonological processes deficit. it is a specific learning disability caused by a problem with how the brain interprets written words.
People with dyslexia read laboriously, often reversing, deleting, or substituting letters or words when trying to read but their vision is fine. They have a problem with phonemic awareness – the ability to hear and manipulate the sounds in words.
Because of these issues, people with dyslexia often have trouble with accuracy and automaticity which can affect comprehension. It is a complex process that requires the ability to recognize words, understand what they mean, and put them together in a way that makes sense. When any of these steps are impaired, reading becomes difficult.
Will a Reading Assessment Help?
A reading assessment can help determine whether a person has dyslexia. If your child does have dyslexia, you will know what changes you need to make to help them learn to read successfully.
There are many different types of diagnostic reading assessments. Most of them involve taking various reading tests and reviewing the results with a specialist. A specialist can determine if dyslexia is the root cause of the problem.
When Should Your Child Get a Reading Assessment for Dyslexia?
The sooner you know, the sooner you can get the help you need. Asking for a comprehensive evaluation from a qualified specialist is essential.
If your child is struggling with sequencing the alphabet, rhyming, or decoding simple words, it is time to get a reading assessment. The earlier you do it, the earlier intervention can start. Reading assessments can be done in kindergarten or first grade. An early evaluation goes a long way to help prevent future academic problems by starting intervention at a young age.
A late diagnosis can mean these children do not receive the necessary help and support to succeed in school. For example, a child not diagnosed until age 10 or 11 may fall behind in school and struggle to catch up. This can lead to low self-esteem and depression.
How Is Dyslexia in Children Treated?
Several treatments have proven to be effective for dyslexia. One standard treatment is tutoring or specialized instruction in reading. This type of instruction can help improve reading skills and phonemic awareness.
Some children find that using specific accommodations or modifications can be helpful as they tutor to improve their reading skills. In other words, the best way to help a child is to meet them where they’re at and change how instruction is delivered.
Here are some examples of accommodations that are easy to put into place for your child:
- Extra time on tests or oral exams
- Breaking down assignments into smaller chunks
- Allowing the use of a computer or audio recorder for assignments
- Reading test questions aloud
- Giving verbal instructions instead of written ones
- Using a computer to help with written assignments
Most importantly, remember that every child is different. The best educational plan will be individualized to meet your child’s needs. Reading assessments can help you figure out what is best for your child.
If your child may benefit from special instruction, the best thing to do is to talk to a specialist. They can conduct a comprehensive evaluation and develop a treatment plan tailored to your child’s needs.
Current Methods for Reading Assessments
There are a few different methods to determine reading levels for children. One common approach is called a Running Record. In a running record, the student reads aloud to the examiner to take notes of their reading behaviors and abilities. This is often used to assess a student’s comprehension and fluency.
Another common assessment method is called miscue analysis. In miscue analysis, the examiner looks at how the student mispronounces words or substitutes words to get an idea of their understanding of grammar and syntax. This can help identify any difficulties the student may be having with reading.
Working with students at their developmental level is essential to providing them with the best instruction possible. These methods can educate students in a way that they respond to:
- Reading instruction from specialized teachers
- One-on-one tutoring
- Small group instruction
- Reading and writing games
- Reading comprehension activities
You can also find a list of accommodations and modifications that can be made to support your child’s needs.
Remember, every child is different. The best way to help your child is to meet them where they are and change how instruction is delivered. Reading assessments can help you figure out what is best for your child.
Find Reading Assessments for Your Child
If you think your child may be struggling with reading, the first step is to get a reading assessment. Reading assessments help identify reading struggles and determine the best course of action.
Many types of reading assessments are available, so choose one that’s right for your child. Diagnostic reading assessments are usually given by a specialist. Consulting a qualified specialist can be very helpful in identifying and treating dyslexia.
Your child may find many benefits from a diagnostic reading assessment. Contact us today to learn more about our assessment services.