Dyslexia is a common learning disability that affects 1 in 5 people. Dyslexia can cause difficulty in spelling, reading, writing, memory and it can even affect organisational skills. To help you understand dyslexia more, please click here to read IDL's very own Rozanne's Dyslexia Story.
Indicators of Dyslexia
Dyslexia isn't as simple as having trouble in these areas, there are different levels of dyslexia making each person unique. This doesn't mean someone cannot learn to read or write, it just means that extra support might be needed. Below are some signs to look out for:
1. Confusing similar letters like p and q, or b and d.
2. Difficulty remembering sequences like days of the week or the alphabet.
3. Anxiety from reading or writing.
4. Preference to dictate written work.
5. Misspelling the same word in different ways.
6. Confusing similarly-spelt or sounding words, eg: bred and bread.
7. Difficulty recognising commonly used words.
8. Swapping words or phrases from lines above or below the one they are reading.
9. Sloppy handwriting, or poor motor skills.
10. Trouble understanding or remembering instructions.
Like any learning disability, dyslexia can present challenges to school pupils throughout their education and people with dyslexia might feel like they are different to other people. The dyslexic brain works differently, but dyslexia can be as much a strength as it is a learning difficulty, however it is still key to notice the signs of dyslexia as early as possible, so children do not feel isolated. When left undetected, it can be confusing and lonely for dyslexic children.
On the flip side, once a child has been diagnosed with dyslexia it can actually become a “superpower”, as many people with dyslexia have other skill sets that outperform those without dyslexia such as creativity, problem-solving and many more. These traits are often not developed or discovered because the child loses confidence in their own abilities due to undiagnosed dyslexia.
You can learn more about these superpowers in our article 6 Dyslexic Superpowers, and find out about some successful entrepreneurs with dyslexia in our blog 10 Celebrities You Didn't Know Have Dyslexia.
How do you Identify and Assess Dyslexia?
There are numerous ways to test for dyslexia. Below are the most popular ways:
- Screener - We have developed a multi-sensory dyslexia screener, which contains clear visual and audio instructions, is learner-friendly and easy to follow. In order to help as many children as possible be diagnosed and get support for dyslexia, we provide our screener to schools free of charge. For more information and to request our screener, please click here.
- Observation – the key things here are to observe how the learner attempts a question, look for signs of stress and encourage them to verbalise how they are attempting the task.
If you do suspect dyslexia in a child, ensure you get them assessed by a professional so that the child can be diagnosed and supported early on.
Teaching Dyslexic Pupils
When devising a literacy teaching strategy for students with dyslexia, Literacy anxiety or low level reading and writing ability, it is important to consider their strengths. With many dyslexic students being creative, having a love of visuals and a strong practical ability, they will be suited to a multi-sensory approach that uses contextualisation to real life scenarios. Taking this into consideration, at IDL we have developed a multi-sensory and cloud based IDL Literacy programme. IDL Literacy is an interactive and fully graded course, mapped to schools’ curriculums, that improves the ability of low-attaining learners in Literacy.