Dyslexia symptoms & assessment
The main symptoms of dyslexia are usually associated with reading and other related skills, like writing words, rhyming and spelling. Although most people think that dyslexics get words and letters around the wrong way, many don’t have that problem at all – it’s just one of many symptoms.
In fact, on first impression, most dyslexics may not be recognised as having a real problem. Usually, they speak normally and often have good language skills. It’s only when they are asked to read a passage from a book that their difficulty becomes apparent.
But, if we dig a little deeper, we find that dyslexic people have much more complex and wide-ranging difficulties than first thought, by even scientists and educationalists. The reason why they are identified and classified as being ‘people who read poorly for their age’ is that reading is the most complicated of all the skills we will ever learn, so, it’s a very evident and easily recognised weakness.
The work of genius
Consider this – most people have only been expected to be able read in the last 100 years or so. Before then, most were totally illiterate and the ability to read was almost thought of as the work of genius.
Unlike language, historically, reading has not been something which 90% of human existence has been expected to master. As a result, our brain has never developed a single neurological system to allow us to acquire reading skills easily. In fact, we have to recruit and make different parts of the brain talk to each other in order to do it at all.
Luckily, over 80% of us have managed to be able to adapt our brain to this requirement, but up to 20% of us do not take easily to developing this skill.
Reading aside, researchers have found that so-called dyslexic people also have difficulty acquiring all kinds of every day skills. Fortunately, unlike reading, some are skills that can improve quickly with day-to day practice.
Tip of the iceberg
Dyslexics may find it hard to pay attention for a long time. They’re also inclined to forget things. You’ll notice that their handwriting is not the neatest either. Sometimes, making friends may not come easy to them. They can be prone to tantrums and find it difficult to communicate and relate to others. Some even find they struggle to develop their emotional skills.
So, you can see that reading skills are just the tip of the dyslexia iceberg, which is why Dore believes that placing strictly defined ‘labels’ on peoples symptoms is misleading and not the best way to help an individual’s assessment.
At Dore we prefer to focus on all symptoms rather than specific labels or assessment and try to look at the whole person and not just which diagnosis ‘box’ they seem to fit. By doing this, we can identify all the problems more readily and measure all the changes.