Dyslexia is a reading disability. It is very common. Dyslexia is also called developmental reading disorder.
A child with dyslexia reads at a much lower level than average for his or her age, intelligence, and education. The disorder affects how a child does in school and other daily activities.
The exact cause is not known. It is not caused by vision problems. In dyslexia the problem is in the way the brain translates letters and sounds.
Like other learning disorders, it tends to run families. Children are more likely to have a reading disorder if they have fetal alcohol syndrome, lead poisoning, or certain birth defects.
Based on what is average for the child's age, intelligence, and education, a child with dyslexia may:
Sometimes children with dyslexia also have problems with speaking, such as mispronouncing words and speaking in incomplete sentences.
Parents usually notice this disorder when their child starts school.
Your healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history and examine your child. Your child will also have hearing and vision tests.
If your healthcare provider thinks your child may have a speech disorder, your child may need to see a specialist. The specialist will test your child's reading level and overall intelligence and advise you about treatment. Your school district may also provide testing services for your child.
Reading disorders are usually treated by providing one-on-one instruction in reading skills. Your child may receive special help from his or her teacher in a regular classroom or work with a reading specialist in a special classroom.
Most school districts have special programs to help children with learning disorders. Find out what services are offered through the school district to help children who have a hard time with reading.
By high school, some children will have improved their skills and will no longer have a hard time reading. Teens who continue to struggle may limit their career choices. It is very important to get treatment for your child as early as possible.