Dyslexia is a common reading disorder affecting as many as 1 in 5 children. Despite the vast progress made in recent decades, understanding and effectively navigating a dyslexia diagnosis and treatment continues to be a great challenge for families of affected children. UTD master's student and mother of a dyslexic child, Melissa Krauth, recently prepared a pragmatic guide for parents on dyslexia (full version here).
Tips from the parent guide include:
1. You’re not alone – dyslexia is quite common, and many children struggle with dyslexia as well as other challenges. Families in similar situations can be a great source of knowledge and support.
2. It’s not your fault – dyslexia is now understood to have a neurobiological basis – in other words, it’s related to how your child’s brain is structured/wired.
3. It’s about sounds – the disrupted wiring seems to be in how the brain processes sounds. Dyslexic children may have oral communication challenges, specifically word retrieval, as well as difficulties in how they match symbols to sounds.
4. It’s not going to go away – dyslexia isn’t something children outgrow, although with treatment they can make tremendous progress in their reading.
5. Successful treatments are available – there are proven approaches to address the underlying deficits in dyslexia and help dyslexic children read and write successfully.
6. You’re going to need to navigate and advocate – parents of dyslexic children need to be actively involved to ensure their child gets the resources they need and is in a school environment where they will thrive both academically and emotionally.
7. It will be okay – some dyslexic children will fully conquer their reading challenges and go on to college and challenging careers that require significant reading; others will follow a different path but will do so armed with the determination and perseverance skills they can develop by addressing their challenges.