Dyslexia, although a common learning difference found among the general population, can be overlooked. Many factors can lead to misdiagnosis, but teaching educators and parents to correctly identify obstacles in discovering this condition will give children a greater chance of success. What are the obstacles in evaluating dyslexia?
Missed Signs of Dyslexia
A common problem that slows down the diagnosis of children with dyslexia is too much emphasis on phonetic and reading difficulties. Indeed, trouble connecting phonetic sounds to the letters they are associated with is a well-known symptom of dyslexia. However, other signs can be missed when this is emphasized and is not the only symptom.
Other issues with dyslexia can include delayed speech and trouble growing vocabulary in younger children. Often this presents itself before a child starts learning to read, so if this symptom is not recognized as linked to early dyslexia, screening may not happen as soon as it should.
Memory problems, letters that are transposed or written backward, trouble with sequencing numbers, and trouble understanding new facts are all signs of dyslexia that don’t get enough attention when assessing how a child is doing in school.
Associating Intellect With Dyslexia
Missing a dyslexia diagnosis can occur when the people around a child judge based on a child’s intelligence. Even children who seem to excel in school can have dyslexia. They may have learned ways around their learning difference, such as using context clues and pictures to help them with reading.
Conversely, if educators or caregivers assume that a child is not academically inclined, they may not investigate further into that child’s struggles in school. A child with dyslexia does not automatically have below-average intelligence. They require different tools to help them reach their full potential.
Resistance to Dyslexia Assessments and Treatment
There is also an emotional aspect to dealing with learning differences that can become a roadblock in diagnosing a child with dyslexia. Some parents may be resistant to having their children screened for learning problems. There may be some aspect of denial or disbelief that their child may need additional tailored help in school.
Children themselves may be uncooperative when it comes to assessments. They may refuse to read or complete other parts of the evaluation if they realize what is happening. Even young children experience the stigma of being different and want to avoid something that would separate them from their peers or make them a target for teasing. A supportive environment can help ease their fears.
Putting in the effort to get past these challenges and evaluating dyslexia can make all the difference in a child’s academics and success in life. The earlier you implement a tool such as the Tests of Dyslexia (TOD™), the sooner you can find the proper method to help a child with this condition. To get more information on how WPS uses assessments to help children succeed in school, reach out about our resources today.
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