DYSLEXIA - READING DISORDERS
We talk about dyslexia if a child with normal intelligence, sight and hearing does not learn to read and write at the usual age. He sees the word but does not adequately process the visual image within his brain, does not find the corresponding spoken word. Children with dyslexia are often brought to the eye doctor with the hope that glasses might improve reading. Reading glasses seldom help to solve the learning problems. If they help at all, e.g. by balancing esophoria, inward squint, they are worth using because the situation is a burden to the child. However, they should not delay the use of a program of special instruction by a trained teacher or learning specialist.
Dyslexia is only one of the numerous forms of reading difficulties. Therefore a child with delay in learning to read needs a thorough neurologic and neuropsychologic assessment. Before those examinations, vision and hearing should be carefully evaluated.
Some children with good auditory memory learn better if they listen to the text while following the text with their finger. An adult can read passages on tape and the child can listen them as many times as needed without being dependent on when the adult is willing or has time to read. The child may also listen to the text that will be dealt with at school on the next day. In this way some of these children can keep up with their classmates. - Children with difficulties in attention or fixation can be helped with holding a card below the line of text or using a small "reading window" to reduce interference by the surrounding text. Special educators should get a comprehensive description of a child's visual and learning problems for planning of therapeutic or remedial teaching.