Dyslexia in children: feature or disease

 When babies learn to speak, they distort words, lisp, say “lyba” instead of “fish”, “kofka” instead of “cat”. Up to 4-5 years is normal. If such a manner of speech persists in a first grader who is supposed to speak clearly and correctly, there are signs of dyslexia. How to identify dyslexia in a child, how to treat it in children, as well as recommendations for this problem.

Dyslexia in children: feature or disease

Lazy, capricious, inattentive, sloppy, stupid... Often, this is how teachers and parents talk about a child if he refuses to do homework , constantly loses his briefcase and runs from school not in his jacket. Is it really because of laziness? Psychologists note that not only the lack of motivation and interest in learning leads to deuces and school failure. What then?


Difference in concepts

According to statistics, 20-25% of people in the world face some kind of learning difficulties. The most common reason for this is dyslexia.


  • Dyslexia is a neurobiological perception of information that causes students to have difficulty reading.

However, in addition to dyslexia, there are other specific difficulties.


  • Dysgraphia is the deterioration of handwriting, which is sometimes accompanied by spelling errors.
  • Dyscalculia - difficulty in solving arithmetic problems, in understanding mathematical concepts.
Often, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia are accompanied by ADD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) or ADHD ( attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ). It is not necessary that one is a consequence of the other. According to studies, 50% of people with learning difficulties have been diagnosed with ADHD.

Is it possible to get rid of this

Dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia do not affect intelligence, so they are not considered diseases. The mental abilities of a child with dyslexia are often higher than those of their peers. It should also be borne in mind that this is an innate lifelong feature that can be corrected if it is diagnosed in time and the training method is correctly chosen. A child with this problem, thanks to classes with a speech therapist and a neuropsychologist, will eventually be able to pull up school subjects.

Why there is a problem

The exact causes of speech dyslexia in a child are unknown, but scientists have hypothesized that this feature of information perception has a hereditary predisposition: 49% of parents of children with dyslexia are diagnosed with the same problem.

Also using MRI, scientists have found that areas of the brain involved in reading and processing speech function differently in people with dyslexia than in those who do not have this problem. A person without this problem reads fluently and quickly recognizes words, while people with dyslexia process writing differently, and reading for them turns into a complex, slow process.

But not only genetics can contribute to the occurrence of dyslexia. There are other factors too:

  • severe pregnancy, stress and illness of the mother during childbearing;
  • complications during childbirth, premature birth, fetal hypoxia , low birth weight;
  • brain injury in a baby, illness of a child at an early age;
  • medicines taken by the mother during pregnancy or by the child at an early age.
  • exposure to nicotine, drugs, alcohol, infections during pregnancy.

Signs of dyslexia in children

Usually, the symptoms of dyslexia in school-age children are clearly manifested in the 2nd half of the 1st grade. In this case, the most reliable period for diagnosis begins with the 2nd quarter of the 2nd grade. However, signs of a problem can be noticed even before school. Dyslexia in children of primary school age can manifest itself as follows:

  • the child fails to hold the spoon and writing objects correctly;
  • he has problems with fine motor skills (cannot tie his shoelaces);
  • he does not like ball games (difficulties arise with catching the ball);
  • does not recognize words that it constantly encounters (for example, entry, exit);
  • speech develops more slowly than that of peers;
  • the child withdraws into himself, cannot establish contact with peers.

How else to identify dyslexia 

The child may experience visual-spatial and motor difficulties:

  • cannot correctly repeat a series of strokes on the table with a pencil at long and short intervals;
  • can ignore left-hand characters, letters, even a page.

He has impaired speech (oral and / or written) and auditory skills:

  • when reading and writing, he rearranges, skips or does not add letters and syllables, distorts words, adds extra letters and syllables to them;
  • cannot repeat several digits correctly in the given order;
  • he has difficulty remembering letters, words, concepts;
  • he refuses to read aloud;
  • sees one thing, and pronounces another (letters, words, numbers);
  • cannot determine the boundaries of words, sentences;
  • bad handwriting;
  • makes 4 or more mistakes in dictations, independent, control works, subject to regular training.

Orientation and memory may be impaired:

  • he gets confused about the seasons, the days of the week, or the time of day;
  • it is difficult to navigate in the concepts of "right - left";
  • poorly remembers poems or multiplication tables;
  • he has problems with short-term memory.

The child experiences difficulties with perseverance, concentration, patience and organization:

  • distracted, hard to concentrate;
  • it is difficult for him to organize himself, to follow instructions;
  • difficult to follow algorithms;
  • he loses school supplies (other things), forgets about assignments;
  • in the classroom can shout out the answer before the end of the question of the teacher;
  • interrupts when others are talking, it is difficult for him to wait for his turn.

What can lead to

Experts have identified a number of common problems that children with dyslexia may face in the absence of diagnosis and regular remedial classes in the future.

  • Problems with learning. Since reading is a basic skill for mastering most subjects from the school curriculum, it is difficult for such children to learn. Sometimes at an early age they quickly and successfully learn to read and spell, but later they may face tasks that require complex language skills: writing essays, presentations, understanding the literature read.
  • Language problems. Even with a competent language environment at home and good schooling, it can be difficult for people with dyslexia to clearly express their thoughts and understand interlocutors.
  • Mental and social problems. Difficulties in learning in the absence of correction and work with a psychologist affect self-esteem, lead to severe stress due to school failure, disappointment in learning, anxiety, and depression. This makes it difficult to build good relationships with people in the workplace as well as in your personal life.

How to help a child with dyslexia

The most important thing is to be attentive to the problems of the baby, always try to listen to him, understand him, devote as much time as possible, help develop his strengths! It is important to tell your son or daughter more often that you are proud of him, that you believe in his abilities. If you praise the child without fanaticism , maintain a positive attitude, be interested in his hobbies, then this will help to establish an emotional connection in the family and raise a psychologically healthy person.

If you find signs of dyslexia in a child, you can sign up for a consultation with a speech therapist or neuropsychologist. For example, the experts of the Association of Parents of Children with Dyslexia provide free online consultations to parents and specialists on the problems of dyslexia, dysgraphia, dysorphography, dyscalculia, general speech underdevelopment, phonetic and phonemic underdevelopment, mental retardation, attention deficit. Anyone, regardless of the region of residence, can contact the organization to diagnose a child with a speech therapist or neuropsychologist, get recommendations on the educational route and the organization of remedial classes. The Association's experts answer the questions of the children's parents, share recommendations, theoretical developments, new teaching methods, suggest interesting games, exercises, books, films.

The next step is PMPK (psychological-medical-pedagogical commission). The PMPK will determine if the child has a disability and recommend an adapted educational program. Parents will also be able to receive psychological and pedagogical support. Do not be afraid of the status of HIA and visiting the commission, since all conclusions of the PMPK are considered as recommendations. The decision to change the educational route and the assessment system is made by the parents.

If you decide to follow the instructions of the PMPK, then the next step is to contact the school, which will be required to organize at least 5 hours a week of classes with a speech therapist and psychologist, as well as use an adequate system for evaluating and checking the child's achievements.

It happens that the school does not have a speech therapist. Then parents can apply to the city psychological and pedagogical medical and social center (PPMS-center) and get the help of specialists.

Development of a child with dyslexia

Can a person with this condition become successful? The process of accompanying a child with learning difficulties is a long journey. Dyslexia is a lifelong feature, sometimes parents give up, I want to hear encouraging success stories of people with dyslexia. But there are really a lot of them!

  • Steven Spielberg is one of the most famous American film directors. He learned to read 2 years later than his peers, teachers considered Spielberg lazy and not diligent enough, and he was diagnosed with dyslexia at 61!
  • The founder of the Virgin Group corporation, who made a trip to the edge of space in July 2021 on his company's ship, Richard Branson. The peculiarity of the perception of information did not prevent Richard from opening the space tourism company Virgin Galactic and becoming the richest resident of the UK.
People with dyslexia become successful in various fields of activity: in painting (Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso); architecture (Richard Rogers, Norman Foster); sculpture (Auguste Rodin); exact sciences (Albert Einstein); literature (Vladimir Mayakovsky); acting (Tom Cruise, Keanu Reeves, Keira Knightley); business (Henry Ford) and other areas.

These stories once again convince us that the main thing for parents is not to be afraid to ask for help, because the sooner they do this, the more chances the child will have to become successful, self-confident, find a favorite pastime, and realize himself in the future!

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