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Many young children struggle with reading. Causes of this frustration can be linked to learning disabilities such as dyslexia. Early detection and interventions can be extremely beneficial for children showing signs of learning difficulties.
Pediatric Neuropsychologist Nichole Dawson, Ph.D. helps families and children with reading and learning disorders. She has teamed up with national nonprofit Learning Ally to help inform the public about learning differences and their early “markers” or warning signs. Things to look for include difficulties with:
- learning the alphabet, identifying letters, and/or processing letter-sound relationships;
- learning nursery rhymes, preschool songs, the days of the week, the months of the year ;
- learning to count and recognizing numbers;
- reading out loud (slow, “choppy” and error-prone);
- breaking word sounds apart, or blending them together;
Dr. Dawson also points to several other warning signs in children, including:
- a history of challenges in speech and/or language development;
- weak fine motor skills, messy handwriting and/or trouble learning to write letters, numbers, or even their own name;
- trouble with repetitive learning of facts, vocabulary, names of people and places;
- trouble with math, especially learning math facts and computation.
Children exhibiting some of these symptoms should be evaluated by an expert in reading impairments. Parents should seek out one of the following to initiate the evaluation process: school psychologists, pediatric neuropsychologists, educational therapists, and speech language pathologists.
Many children with learning differences suffer from low self-esteem as a byproduct of their reading challenges, and large percentages end up dropping out of school if they never receive help. However, there are many resources that can help children with learning differences achieve reading success. Early detection is key to success.
Learning Ally is a 65-year old national, nonprofit organization that helps individuals with print disabilities – including dyslexia, vision impairment, and other physical disabilities – achieve educational success, build confidence and develop reading independence. Learning Ally’s audio textbook library of 75,000 digital titles is the largest of its kind in the nation, containing a vast collection of core subject textbooks for K-12 and college, as well as popular literature titles.
For information about Learning Ally’s family memberships, or to check out its vast audiobook library, visit www.LearningAlly.org.