FAQ: About Dyslexia

More about dyslexia and the experiences of dyslexic people.



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  • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

    Aleah, those are common symptoms of dyslexia, but dyslexia doesn’t just start suddenly when you are a teenager. You should talk to your parents about this and arrange to see a doctor, because the symptoms could also be connected to a head injury, such as a concussion. Sometimes young people who are active in sports might sustain a head injury and not think it was serious at at the time, but headaches or difficulty concentrating could be a symptom.

  • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

    Ashley, when you have the experience of reading skills getting worse and you are seeing print incorrectly (such as reversals in word order)– those are signs of disorientation. Disorientation is tied to stress and frustration, so the best thing you can do for yourself is to try to calm yourself down and relax. The Davis programs have specific tools we teach to help with that.

  • Teresa

    with all due respect ma’am, I used to do that until I was 7. don’t worry.

  • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

    Susan, it sounds like you may have mild to moderate dyslexia. The difficulty with spelling is a key sign. Writing words like “that” backwards could also be a sign, if you mean that the reversal happens during handwriting — but it doesn’t sound like it happens frequently enough for it to be a problem. If you mean that you type the letters out of order, it could simply be an issue with typing habits rather than dyslexia.

  • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

    Problems with spelling are a very common and persistent sign of dyslexia. You can’t know what difficulties another person may have with reading, or what problems they may have had in the past and overcome.

  • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

    Is there a pattern that you can observe? For example, when you change a word are you substituting a word that mean the same thing? (For example, reading “mom” instead of “mother”)?

    Or do you make mistake that seem to be misreading words by substituting words that have somewhat similar letter patterns and structures? For example, reading “flow” instead of “follow”?

    Understanding the pattern, if there is one, will give a clue as to the cause of the problem.

    • Freaky

      I had this problem i want solution to end this.This is what I’m facing right now…can u suggest me to solve this and I’m really good at English but i don’t know when i was reading why the hell I’m re-reading twice it but i know what I’m reading even though i know…. i changed “in” as “is”feels like so embarassed…

  • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

    Tuesday, in the US, federal law requires that schools identify children with dyslexia or other learning disabilities and provide appropriate services without costs. So the first step for you would be to make a request, in writing, for the school to provide testing. Don’t ask for a test for “dyslexia” — ask for generalized testing for learning disabilities. Here is a web site that can help you get started: https://ldaamerica.org/advocacy/lda-position-papers/right-to-an-evaluation-of-a-child-for-special-education-services/

    That being said, my experience has been that if a school is giving you the runaround when you ask for testing, you are unlikely to get meaningful services for your child from the school. Parents often find that they are battling the school, first while the school delays testing, and later when the school does not provide a meaningful IEP Or services for their child. So while I think it is very important to pursue your legal rights to get help, I think it is also important that you educate yourself and also be prepared to take independent measures to help your child.

    Your daughter has very clear signs of dyslexia. I think that you will find the book The Gift of Dyslexia helpful to understanding her needs. I have also written a book called The Everything Parents’ Guide to Children with Dyslexia that is geared to parents in your situation – my book covers a variety of topics, including an exploration of different approaches to dyslexia.

  • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

    The behaviors you describe are not a common symptom of dyslexia. Very small children (age 3 or 4) very often do have those sorts of difficulties with dressing themselves, but by itself that would not be a sign of dyslexia.

  • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

    Yes — the symptoms you describe (difficulties spelling, history of tracking issues, and tendency to flip syllables) are all symptoms that are consistent with dyslexia. It is very common for dyslexic individuals to have a variety of problems involving sequencing of letter, words, or syllables, and these problems sometimes manifest in auditory processing or oral speech as well as in reading and writing.

  • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

    Yes, your daughter is exhibiting classic symptoms of dyslexia. In the US, schools are required to provide services for students with dyslexia, but they are not required to use the label “dyslexia” – if your daughter has already qualified for services because of a “learning disability” then the school is not obligated to provide further testing. Legally, her problems can and should be addressed via the IEP process.

    But practically speaking – the methods and intervention the school is offering isn’t working, and is unlikely to work. The school will generally continue to try to teach or tutor your child, using repetitive strategies — but they are not going to help her with the underlying problem, such as the perceptual barrier she encounters that prevent learning.

    We have a different approach. The Davis approach works, and has been used now in private settings for more than 35 years. If possible, I would encourage you to contact a Davis Facilitator and arrange for a consultation. The consultation doesn’t obligate you in any way to contract for further services, but it will allow you to discuss your daughter’s problems in detail, and get answers to your questions. You can find a Davis facilitator at our directory site: http://www.davismethod.org/

    From your description, I am very confident that a Davis program can help your daughter. I remember similar experiences with my son — especially those nightly battles and tears over the simplest of homework assignments! For us, Davis strategies made a difference right away — just talking to the facilitator for an assessment gave my son a huge boost of confidence.

  • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

    Anna, the distress and panic you described is a common and very clear sign of disorientation. It is something that is both a symptom of dyslexia and a cause of other symptoms – your daughter becomes confused, feels frustrated, and panics. The feeling of panic causes distortions in perception and might also cause feelings of physical distress (such as feelings of nausea or a stomachache). That in turn causes the child to panic even more — and within a short time the child develops a trigger response, so just seeing the symbol or type of problem that causes confusion is enough to trigger the disorientation almost immediately. A Davis provider would able to assess your daughter, including checking for any reading problems that may be hidden, and make some recommendations about the best approach to pursue.

    It’s very possible that some educators would describe you daughter’s symptoms by another name — for example, dyscalculia (for the math problem) rather than dyslexia. But in our experience, the underlying pattern of confusion over symbols and concepts leading to disorientation is almost always the cause of the difficulties. This is especially likely when you are seeing problems with very simple counting, addition, and basic spellings. Davis providers use the same basic approach to address both problems with reading and math, although we do have a separate program specifically geared to maths. However, in each case the facilitator gives the child tools to relax and to recognize and resolve disorientation, and then follows with specific tools to master the concepts and symbols that are triggering confusion and disorientation.

    This page has listings for Davis Facilitators in the UK: http://www.davismethod.org/loc/uk-ireland

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