When Dyslexia is Not a Disease
Some may think dyslexia is a disease caused by genes, which means that the symptoms of the disorder may be genetic or neural, or some combination of the two. Dyslexia is best described as a variation of dyslexia.
The Diagnosis of Dyslexia
Whether or not the reader has dyslexia, it is important to understand the kinds of skills deficits that he/she is exhibiting: which of the following are more common in dyslexic readers:
· Non-linear reading
· Words missing from the sentence
· Selection errors
· Not reading the part that features special characters such as hyphens, commas, and parentheses
· Patterns and repetitions of reading patterns
· Subconscious punctuation/division errors
· Error frequencies
· Multiple objects in the same paragraph
· Poor reading speed
· Turn from topic to topic
· Difficulty with repetitive sounds
The condition is not a sign of weakness. Many readers could be described as reading poorly without reading well or dyslexic and not a person whose general reading abilities are below average.
Diagnosis of Dyslexia
A main symptom of dyslexia is that the reader’s reading skills are very poor. Some may struggle to keep an audience following their instructions. Some may find that sentence sentences have difficulty identifying a word or object. Many readers, according to early studies, could be described as having poor reading, but the disorder does not meet the most common criteria for a diagnosis of reading difficulties and, by that same logic, the symptoms can be described as having dyslexia.
The more important part of a dyslexic reader’s presentation is reading sub-consciously. Even if the reader is struggling to complete a task when asked to do so, he/she still holds some kind of reading skill.
Often, readers with dyslexia may struggle to read in class, even if they are reading comprehension-standard sentences in a series. The reader, however, may not feel constrained in his/her reading. It is not uncommon for readers to have problems combining different parts of the letter into a message, but they still read that message word-for-word.
Because dyslexia is not a disease, the symptoms may not be a factor in determining how poorly the reader is doing at reading in class. Without studying and practicing reading skills, readers with dyslexia may not be able to overcome their weaknesses.
For example, someone with dyslexia might have trouble with punctuation and grammar, but he or she may not struggle with paragraph structure. The ability to include a single word in a paragraph may not be sufficient to qualify a person as having poor reading skills.
Improving Reading Skills for Dyslexic Readers
Among the first steps a dyslexic reader can take is to become better acquainted with key words and to better recognize salient suffixes (e.g., y, p, b, a, etc.) when reading aloud.
Teachers and readers need to learn how to better evaluate dyslexic readers and to facilitate their improvement. Though reading is an acquired skill, many dyslexic readers can improve their reading skills with encouragement from teachers and parents.
Again, the best thing for a dyslexic reader is to have support from his/her peers or other readers. Further, a reader could benefit from some early exposure to print. Larger schools should provide opportunities for gifted readers to spend time reading in a separate class of their own, or more specific avenues to help them read faster, more quickly, and more accurately.
It is important for readers with dyslexia to learn how to control their tendency to catch errors in their style of reading. As some readers struggle with switching back and forth between print and printed characters, they may need to spend a number of reading sessions thinking through new technique to help them more closely mirror the prose style of print readers.
Dyslexia is not a sign of weakness, and it does not directly affect a reader’s abilities to learn or to think. For readers with dyslexia, it’s a learning process that requires perseverance and support.
The tools and techniques recommended in this article are only tools to help readers with dyslexia develop their learning skills more effectively. A reader can become a successful reader through effective use of these tools. Readers can learn by themselves or through an accredited teacher’s services or through programs organized by professionals or professional associations.
For additional information on reading skills, additional information on reading sub-consciously, and additional resources for readers with dyslexia, please visit the Trumpet Foundation Website.