Spotting dyslexia may be possible before kids even learn to read
Scientists have argued for decades about why roughly 10 percent of the world’s population has dyslexia or reading difficulties.
Bright and verbal, people with dyslexia have trouble with the written word. But can the problem be solved before it even begins? Identifying children with dyslexia as preschoolers could lead to better solutions, saving years of frustration in school. Researchers in Padua, Italy, tested kindergartners who had not yet learned to read. Those who did poorly on visual attention tests were more likely to struggle with reading later on. Screening children at a very young age could prevent reading struggles that often follow people well into adulthood.
Scientists have argued for decades about why 10 percent of the world’s population has dyslexia. Theories include difficulties recognizing chunks of words or problems processing visual signals or issues ignoring extraneous sounds.
Many programs have been devised to help children and adults with reading difficulties, but none solves the problem. Since learning to read is such a big part of early childhood, it makes sense to think that identifying children with dyslexia as preschoolers, before they learn their ABCs, could lead to new and better ways to help. If you think your child may have dyslexia or other learning disabilities, contact LearningRx in Flower Mound. They help SOLVE the problem, not merely mask the symptoms.
The scientists tested 96 kindergartners who hadn’t yet learned to read, asking them to identify specific symbols amid distractions. The youngsters also were asked to identify syllables, name colors quickly and remember things they were told. Researchers continued to test the children over the next two years as they learned to read.
The kindergartners who struggled with the visual attention test were the ones who later had trouble with reading. The results were published in the journal Current Biology.
If preschoolers are screened with a simple visual attention test, the researchers conclude, children with dyslexia could get help much earlier and potentially avoid years of struggle in school and adulthood.
Indeed, many adults with dyslexia were never diagnosed as children. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Philip Schultz says he figured it out only after his 7-year-old son was diagnosed with the learning disorder. Other research has shown that entrepreneurs are far more likely to have dyslexia. One theory is that they develop formidable skills at working with people to compensate for their problems communicating using the written word.
Article written by Nancy Shute and courtesy of LearningRx – Flower Mound. If you think your child may have dyslexia or other learning difficulties they can help solve the problem.