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Dyslexia

On this page you will be able to find access to the following information as well as some other useful links that you might find helpful:

  • An overview of what Dyslexia is and how it affects different people
  • Some answers to the more frequently asked questions about Dyslexia
  • A list of useful contacts and support groups
  • Some information about Disability Living Allowance and PIP
  • A form to register your child with the Children’s Disability Register
  • Some information about our service and the support we can offer

Indications of Dyslexia

(sourced from The British Dyslexia Association)

If a child has several of these indications, further investigation should be made. The child may be dyslexic, or there may be other reasons. This is not a checklist.

Persisting factors

There are many persisting factors in dyslexia, which can appear from an early age. They will still be noticeable when the dyslexic child leaves school.

These include:

  • Obvious 'good' and 'bad' days, for no apparent reason,
  • Confusion between directional words, e.g. up/down, in/out,
  • Difficulty with sequence, e.g. coloured bead sequence, later with days of the week or numbers,
  • A family history of dyslexia/reading difficulties.

Pre-school

  • Has persistent jumbled phrases, e.g. 'cobbler's club' for 'toddler's club'
  • Use of substitute words e.g. 'lampshade' for 'lamppost'.
  • Inability to remember the label for known objects, e.g. 'table, chair'.
  • Difficulty learning nursery rhymes and rhyming words, e.g. 'cat, mat, sat'.
  • Later than expected speech development.
  • Pre-school non-language indicators.
  • May have walked early but did not crawl - was a 'bottom shuffler' or 'tummy wriggler'.
  • Persistent difficulties in getting dressed efficiently and putting shoes on the correct feet.
  • Enjoys being read to but shows no interest in letters or words.
  • Is often accused of not listening or paying attention.
  • Excessive tripping, bumping into things and falling over.
  • Difficulty with catching, kicking or throwing a ball; with hopping and/or skipping.
  • Difficulty with clapping a simple rhythm.

Primary school age

  • Has particular difficulty with reading and spelling.
  • Puts letters and figures the wrong way round.
  • Has difficulty remembering tables, alphabet, formulae etc.
  • Leaves letters out of words or puts them in the wrong order.
  • Still occasionally confuses 'b' and 'd' and words such as 'no/on'.
  • Still needs to use fingers or marks on paper to make simple calculations.
  • Poor concentration.
  • Has problems understanding what he/she has read.
  • Takes longer than average to do written work.
  • Problems processing language at speed.

Primary school age non-language indicators

  • Has difficulty with tying shoe laces, tie, dressing.
  • Has difficulty telling left from right, order of days of the week, months of the year etc.
  • Surprises you because in other ways he/she is bright and alert.
  • Has a poor sense of direction and still confuses left and right.
  • Lacks confidence and has a poor self image.

Aged 12 or over

As for primary schools, plus:

  • Still reads inaccurately.
  • Still has difficulties in spelling.
  • Needs to have instructions and telephone numbers repeated.
  • Gets 'tied up' using long words, e.g. 'preliminary', 'philosophical'.
  • Confuses places, times, dates.
  • Has difficulty with planning and writing essays.
  • Has difficulty processing complex language or long series of instructions at speed.

Aged 12 or over non-language indicators

  • Has poor confidence and self-esteem.
  • Has areas of strength as well as weakness.

Eyes and Dyslexia

Around 35-40% of people with dyslexic difficulties are estimated to experience visual disturbance or discomfort when reading print. They may experience one or several of the following:

  • Blurred letters or words which go out of focus.
  • Letters which move or present with back to front appearance or shimmering or shaking.
  • Headaches from reading.
  • Words or letters which break into two and appear as double.
  • Find it easier to read large, widely spaced print, than small and crowded.
  • Difficulty with tracking across the page.
  • Upset by glare on the page or oversensitive to bright lights.

In some cases any of these symptoms can significantly affect reading ability. It can also make reading very tiring. Of course a child will not necessarily recognise what they see as a problem, as this is how they always see text.

If a child complains of a least one of these problems or has difficulty at school, they should be referred to an optometrist or orthoptist with expertise in this particular field.

Many dyslexic people are sensitive to the glare of white backgrounds on a page, white board or computer screen. This can make the reading of text much harder.

The use of cream or pastel coloured backgrounds can mitigate this difficulty as can coloured filters either as an overlay or as tinted reading glasses. - People with reading difficulties sometimes have a weakness in eye co-ordination or focussing and an eyecare practitioner might recommend treating this with eye exercises or glasses. If these problems are present, they should be detected and treated before coloured filters are prescribed.

Research in the UK and in Australia shows that people who need coloured filters, who are said to have visual stress, need to have exactly the right colour. Many optometrists and orthoptists use a special instrument, the Intuitive Colorimeter, to determine the exact colour that is necessary for coloured glasses.

The choice of colour of text on white backgrounds can also affect clarity e.g. using red on a whiteboard can render the text almost invisible for some dyslexic students.

 

 

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