Understanding Reading Problems: Does Your Child Have One?
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What Is Dyslexia?
Difficulties with basic reading and language skills are the most common of all learning disabilities, affecting up to 80 percent of people who have learning problems. According to the National Institutes of Health, one out of every ten children has significant problems with reading skills. Medical and education specialists use many terms to refer to these problems, including "reading differences," "reading disorders," "reading difficulties," and "dyslexia." In Bridges to Reading, we use these terms interchangeably.
Dyslexia is a lifelong condition that affects people all over the world, no matter what language they speak. It is found in both boys and girls, and is often inherited, so it may affect more than one member of a family.
Dyslexia is an "invisible" learning disability-you can't see it when you look at a child, or hear it when you talk to him. As a result, many children with reading difficulties never know why they have learning problems, and never get the help they need.
Recognizing dyslexia is often made even more difficult because specific reading problems vary so much from child to child. Sometimes there are no obvious clues that your child will have reading difficulties. She may have a good speaking vocabulary, play well with friends, and appear to be ready for school. On the other hand, she may be poor at rhyming, slow to talk, or have trouble finding the "right" word when she's speaking or writing.
Whatever her strengths or needs, dyslexia will make it difficult for her to learn to read. With appropriate assessment and corrective actions, however, most children with reading differences can learn to read.
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