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Dyslexia is a term used to describe difficulties with reading words accurately (known as decoding) and fluently and can be accompanied by difficulties with spelling. A formal diagnosis of dyslexia is considered a subset of an overall difficulty with reading, when considered amongst a range of factors. Some children and young people will also experience difficulties with reading comprehension and this is not dyslexia.

Children and young people with dyslexia can display some of the following characteristics:

  • poor sound identification and discrimination (have trouble with i/e, p/b, d/t);
  • difficulty sounding out words which makes reading less automatic and slower;
  • word guessing (using the first sounds and guessing the rest); inconsistent word recognition (recognises “said’ on one page, but not the next);
  • slow and laboured reading (especially with older students);
  • writing all of the sounds in a word when spelling; and/or
  • confusing sounds when spelling.

Children and young people experiencing difficulty reading in school and at home may be referred for formal assessment of their difficulties. In some cases, a formal diagnosis of dyslexia may be mentioned in a report, while in other cases a diagnosis of a specific learning disorder with impairment in reading may be mentioned. Both of these terms describe difficulties in reading fluently and accurately.

How Can I Help my Child?
Children and young people with dyslexia or difficulties with reading benefit from assistance with a trained reading specialist teacher to learn all of the sounds of the alphabet, how to blend these sounds to read words and identify sounds to spell words, common sight words, and have time to practise these skills to read enjoyable texts with more ease. It is recommended to have your child’s eyesight tested before beginning any intervention to ensure they can see the words clearly.

At home you can support your child’s reading by:

  • Playing games with letter cards and sight words at home (familiar card games such as snap and memory are great);
  • Reading to and with your child with model reading as an enjoyable activity;
  • Listening to your child read at home daily; and
  • Encouraging your child to take time to try to hear and say the sounds in words when reading and spelling.

How Can Learning Links Help?
Learning Links offers a range of services that can help children with dyslexia.

  • Assessment – Learning Links’ Psychologists conduct assessments to evaluate learning and can make a formal diagnosis of dyslexia.  Read more
  • Literacy Support – Learning Links’ Specialist Educators provide individualised reading programs to support the development of reading skills using engaging resources and games.  Read more

  • Speech Pathology – Learning Links’ Speech Pathologists support children’s development of sound production and awareness, prior to reading instruction by teachers.  Read more

  • Occupational Therapy – Learning Links’ Occupational Therapists support children’s development of fine motor skills related to letter formation for spelling.  Read more

  • Psychological Therapy – Children with dyslexia often experience low self-esteem and anxiety as a result of their experiences with reading. Learning Links’ Psychologists can support children and help with strategies and ways to cope.  Read more

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