What is Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects a child’s ability to read, spell, and write. It can cause difficulty with phonological processing, or the ability to break down and manipulate the sounds in words. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) play a crucial role in supporting children with dyslexia, both in diagnosis and treatment. In this blog post, we will discuss the SLPs role with dyslexia and share some exercises that can help children with dyslexia.

Diagnosing Dyslexia

The first step in helping children with dyslexia is identifying the disorder. SLPs are often involved in the diagnosis process, as they have expertise in phonological processing and language development. They can administer tests and evaluations to determine whether a child has dyslexia and assess the severity of the disorder.

Treatment for Dyslexia

Once a child has been diagnosed with dyslexia, SLPs can provide targeted treatment to help improve their reading and writing skills. Some common approaches that SLPs use include:

  1. Multisensory Instruction: This involves engaging multiple senses, such as sight, sound, and touch, to help children learn to read and write. SLPs can use activities that involve tracing letters in sand, saying sounds out loud, and visualizing words as pictures.

  2. Phonological Awareness Activities: Phonological awareness is the ability to identify and manipulate the sounds in words. SLPs can use exercises that involve segmenting and blending sounds, rhyming, and manipulating sounds within words to help improve phonological processing skills.

  3. Decoding Practice: Decoding is the process of translating written words into spoken words. SLPs can use exercises that involve practicing decoding skills, such as reading out loud and identifying sounds within words.

  4. Reading Comprehension Strategies: SLPs can teach children strategies for improving reading comprehension, such as visualizing the story, summarizing the main points, and making connections between different parts of the text.

  5. Assistive Technology: SLPs can also recommend and teach children how to use assistive technology, such as text-to-speech software and audiobooks, to help with reading and writing.

Supporting Kids with Dyslexia at Home

In addition to the work that SLPs do with children, there are also exercises and activities that parents can do at home to support their child’s reading and writing skills. Some ideas include:

  1. Reading Aloud: Reading aloud to children can help them develop phonological processing skills and build vocabulary. Parents can also encourage children to read out loud to practice decoding and fluency.

  2. Word Games: Playing word games, such as Scrabble or Boggle, can help children improve their phonological awareness skills and build their vocabulary.

  3. Writing Practice: Encouraging children to write stories, journal entries, or letters can help them practice their writing skills and build their confidence.

  4. Audiobooks: Listening to audiobooks can help children develop their listening skills and comprehension, and can be a great way to expose them to new vocabulary and ideas.

In conclusion, SLPs play a crucial role in supporting children with dyslexia. By diagnosing the disorder and providing targeted treatment, SLPs can help children improve their reading and writing skills and build their confidence. Additionally, parents can support their child’s learning at home by engaging in exercises and activities that help develop phonological awareness, decoding, and comprehension skills.