Children with reading disorders face a more difficult educational path than their peers. These disorders negatively affect a child’s accuracy, speed and comprehension. While reading disorders cannot be cured, there are tools and resources to help children manage them.
Our reading disorders therapy helps children with reading disorders build stronger reading, writing and comprehension skills. Our specially trained speech-language pathologists can get to the root cause of the disorder and develop a plan for therapy both in the clinic and at home.
Signs and Symptoms
There are various signs a child may have a reading disorder, like dyslexia. Signs include:
- Difficulty breaking words into sounds and syllables
- Difficulty associating letters with sounds
- No interest in books or being read to
- Difficulty rhyming
- Difficulty recognizing his own name or common names like “mom” or “dad” in print
- Trying to memorize text, especially in older kids
- Difficulty reading aloud
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a specific language-based learning disability. Dyslexia refers to a collection of symptoms that result in children having difficulties with certain language skills, particularly reading. Children and teens with dyslexia may also have difficulties with oral or written skills, such as writing and pronunciation.
- 15-20% of the population has a language-based learning disability.
- Dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling difficulties.
- A child with dyslexia has low reading levels, but often average or above-average cognitive abilities.
- Dyslexia is often referred to as a “reading disorder that belongs to the family of learning disabilities.” The two terms are frequently used interchangeably.
What causes dyslexia?
The exact causes of dyslexia are not completely clear, but studies show differences in the way the brain of a person with dyslexia develops and functions.
Most people with dyslexia have been found to have difficulty with identifying the separate speech sounds within a word and/or learning how letters represent those sounds.
Dyslexia is not due to lack or intelligence or desire to learn. With appropriate teaching methods, children with dyslexia can learn very successfully.
How do you diagnose it?
Like any language-based learning disability, our speech-language pathologists will perform a series of tests to evaluate spoken and written language for children who have been identified by their teachers and parents as having difficulty.
Can you cure dyslexia?
There is no cure or quick fix for dyslexia. However, it can be overcome with the appropriate intervention. The brain, like any muscle, can be trained to operate differently and more efficiently.
Can you treat dyslexia?
Just like any other reading disorder, our speech-language pathologists will develop an individualized treatment program specific to your child’s needs. This plan will be designed to help him reach his full academic potential.
Content from the section above was adapted from the International Dyslexia Association, EIDA.org
How We Can Help
Because they have extra training, our speech-language pathologists can determine the cause of a child’s disorder. They can then apply the most appropriate intervention techniques.
Each participating speech-language pathologist is trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach, a multisensory, phonics-based approach to reading instruction.
Specially trained speech-language pathologists
Our clinicians are trained specifically in phonological awareness and phoneme production, which are essential in reading. We provide individualized intervention in a one-on-one setting and have a multidisciplinary team, including occupational therapists and audiologists, to assist with issues outside of reading.
After a child is evaluated at one of our outpatient rehabilitation locations, he has access to a range of therapy plans, from standard to intensive. The level of therapy depends on his age, goals and disorder. We also offer an intensive therapy plan that includes two to three sessions a week for six weeks.
Reading disorders therapy is most appropriate for children age 4 and up. Each therapy session is personalized, and each family will receive exercises to perform at home. Parental involvement is an important part of therapy. This allows the child to receive the most from his therapy plan.
A reading screening can help determine if a child has a reading disorder. We offer screenings for children ages 4 to 8. If the child is older than 8, we recommend a full reading assessment instead of a screening. Please contact Angie Davern-Nelson at 404-785-8592 to schedule a screening.
A doctor’s referral is required for evaluation and treatment. Children may be seen at Children’s Medical Office Building (at Scottish Rite hospital), Children’s at Cobb, Children’s at Fayette or Children’s at Satellite Boulevard.
Call 404-785-7100 for more information.