How We Diagnose and Treat Dyslexia

A young boy with Dyslexia and his sister and mother practice reading together.

At the Dyslexia Diagnostic & Treatment Center – DyslexiaTreaters.com – we assess for and treat dyslexia.  This process includes explaining the nature of “dyslexia” and what a parent can do to help.

What Causes Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is largely inherited. In that respect, if a parent has dyslexia, there is at least a 60% chance that offspring will also have the condition.
 

What Does the Term Mean, and How Does it Manifest?

“Lexia” refers to “words” and “dys” means “poor” such that dyslexia is a “difficulty with words” or a difficulty in the reading of words. Think of it this way: when you see a page of text, it’s not really a page full of words; actually, it’s a page full of letters. In that respect, all those letters are like a big code and it’s our brain’s job to ‘decode’ the letters by associating sounds to the letters and blends. That’s why we refer to reading as using ‘decoding’ skills. People with dyslexia have trouble with that ‘decoding’ process. However, it’s no different than any other strength or weakness; some of us are good, or not so good, in math, athletics, music, art, reading, or whatever.

How We Diagnose

At the Dyslexia Diagnostic & Treatment Center, we conduct a thorough evaluation that will include an assessment of intelligence, which reflects a person’s ability level. We then compare that ability level to measures of reading, spelling, phonetic ability, and reading comprehension among other assessed areas. We then look for the telltale signs, namely in the areas of difficulty with specific decoding skills and we diagnose based on evidence of such difficulty and severity level. 

The Foundation of Treatment

You can find more information at our website, DyslexiaTreaters.com, that we can provide treatment online in the convenience of your home. We have the best Reading Specialists who are vastly experienced and certified in treating dyslexia. We rely on a structured, systematic, and ‘multi-sensory’ approach that incorporates visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning processes. The Orton-Gillingham Approach is foundational and incorporates this multi-sensory approach.


Some Things You Can Do to Help Your Child

Read to your child daily. Books on tape can be helpful and Kindle, Audible, and Bookshare is a valuable resource (read-aloud option).

Two-second Rule

When reading to your child and taking turns, use the ‘two-second rule’. When your child struggles to read a word, wait two seconds, then quickly pronounce the word for your child and move on with the reading. Otherwise, the reading experience becomes burdensome, boring, and your child will resist. Moreover, basic reading passages have lots of repetition of words, so you’ll re-encounter that word soon enough. You want to choose reading material with which your child can read at about 90% accuracy.

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice writing by tracing and progressively moving to freehand. Tracing and writing problem letters (b’s, p’s, d’s…) is helpful. There are also various helpful tricks (“bed” featuring a picture of two people – pictured as the ‘b’ and ‘d’ –  holding between them an ‘e’ on which a person is sleeping…).

“Those letters are jumping around…”

Use off-white paper or background, larger-size (14 pt or more), and sans serif fonts to reduce the letters appearing to “move around on the page” (a common complaint from kids struggling with dyslexia).

Technology is Our Friend

Practice phonics online; simply google “free phonics games” and plenty of sites will be available for daily, fun-filled practice. There are also inexpensive ‘apps’ that can be downloaded. I also refer parents to any number of commercial software products that provide comprehensive instruction, in a child-friendly manner, for the computer.

Get Our Dyslexia Packet Free

Simply email me at jcarosso@dyslexiatreaters.com and ask for our Dyslexia Packet that outlines these strategies, helpful websites, website addresses for software, and a host of other treatment options.

Also, inquire about our online treatment. We are excited about our upcoming intensive summer treatment program beginning in June.

I hope that this was helpful for you and your child. If you found this article informational, please share it with a friend. Thanks!