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Of late, there has been significant media attention with regard to the tendency to diagnose children with all sorts of disorders early in life.  Some groups feel that conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and others are too often misdiagnoses that attempt to pathologize the various developmental quirks present in children.  Although it has not been in the spotlight as much as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia is another of these childhood disorders that can affect children in a number of ways.  In particular, dyslexia is characterized as a learning disorder and as such can potentially not only affect children’s abilities to succeed in a school environment, but as a result of these at times negative outcomes can also affect a child’s performance in social circles leading to potential problems.


The purpose of this article is to give a general overview of Dyslexia in Children, and any other individuals who could be classified as dyslexic by looking at some of the Dyslexia Types and the symptoms and causes of this disorder.  As always, when it comes to articles of this sort, their general nature means that one should only consider them to be a potential starting point in the quest to become better informed about dyslexia.  Becoming fully informed about dyslexia should also involve the consulting of as many reputable sources of information as possible.  In the end, the number one source of information that you should consider consulting is a trained, licensed and qualified health care professional such as your family physician.


In general, dyslexia is a mental impairment that involves the relationship between written images and language and is known as a reading disability that, according to the Mayo Clinic, affects approximately five percent of school-aged children in the United Staes of America.  What characterizes dyslexia is a general lack of facility with language in both its spoken and written forms.  Individuals who are dyslexic do not suffer from defects of either vision or intellect, but it is rather a disorder that affects the comprehension of language in all its forms.  It is generally not a debilitating language problem, but rather one that given the correct professional attention is able to be managed in as effective manner as possible.


Dyslexia Symptoms


There is no direct “Dyslexia Test,” but rather the symptoms of dyslexia become readily apparent at a young age as an affected child learns about language.  As a result, dyslexia becomes most often apparent after a child has entered a school environment.  However, this is not to say that an attentive parent may not be able to detect some of the telltale signs and symptoms of dyslexia even before the child in question enters the school environment.  Such behavioral symptoms that may occur include a child having difficulty beginning to talk or expanding his or her vocabulary or even an inability to come up with rhyming words.  It is these sorts of a lack of facility with language that may provide the early warning signs that can lead to a diagnosis of dyslexia early on in childhood.


However, once a child has entered a learning environment, such as school of any sort, these difficulties with language will in all likelihood rapidly make themselves readily apparent.  These symptoms may include difficulty recognizing words either spoken to them in the form of conversation or instructions as well as difficulty in understanding words on the page in written form that develop at a much slower level than children who are in the same age group.  As a result these children will often fall behind in the development of their reading and at times even social skills, though in the latter category this is not necessarily always the case.  In addition, rapid instructions may cause difficulties in comprehension, particularly in sequences of words, letters or instructions.  One of the characteristic linguistic traits of individuals who have dyslexia is that they tend to reverse letters or the sequence of letters in words such as b/d reversals, or word reversals such as dog/god.  This is not necessarily uncommon in vary young children, but usually after the age of six or so, children who do not have dyslexia increasingly rarely exhibit such linguistic quirks.  In addition, children with dyslexia will have difficulties learning new words or employing common techniques to discover new words, such as sounding out the pronunciation of them.  It is at present unclear what causes dyslexia, but in general it is thought to be in some way concerned with the brain and the individual’s relationship to language.


Dyslexia Treatment


In general, due to the relatively unknown causes of dyslexia it is not presently possible to cure or treat dyslexia in any way as we are not currently sure of what malfunction or disorder of the brain it is that causes the learning and linguistic difficulties that are associated with dyslexia.  On the whole, there are a number of things that parents of dyslexic children can do in order to ensure that they are not overly adversely impacted by the presence of this disorder.  This most often involves some form of extra attention to the child’s educative needs and may involve a number of different attempts to help the child learn in different ways that are more suited to his or her individual and idiosyncratic relationship to language.


The best case scenario in terms of outcomes for the treatment of educative disabilities in children who have dyslexia is that a form of innovative or multisensory pedagogic method will enable the child to overcome their individual difficulties with language and to progress alongside their peers albeit in a somewhat different, though effective manner.  However, in particularly problematic cases of dyslexia it may be unrealistic for the child in question to maintain pace with his or her peers despite the use of alternative pedagogic techniques.  In cases such as these, it is important that, as the child matures, that they potentially be directed into potential professions whereby the particularities of their linguistic deficiency will not be as apparent or adverse to potential professional outcomes.