October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month

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> COLUMBUS, Miss. — October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month and the Speech and Hearing Center at Mississippi University for Women wants individuals to be aware of the signs associated with the reading disorder and misconceptions that surround it.
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> One in five people in the United States has symptoms of dyslexia, which is a common reason why children struggle with spelling, writing and reading, according to the International Dyslexia Association, which defines dyslexia as a specific learning disability that is neurobiological and characterized by difficulties with accurate word recognition and spelling. The root cause of these difficulties is a deficit in the phonological component of language. Dyslexia is identifiable with a 92 percent accuracy between the ages of 5 and a half and 6 and a half years old.
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> While dyslexia is common, there are many misconceptions, including that children who have dyslexia see backwards, have a low IQ and are unable to be treated past age 9. According to Lynn Hanson, instructor of speech/ language pathology at The W, dyslexia is not a vision problem, does not relate to IQ and has no age limits on treatment.
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> The early signs of dyslexia include delayed speech, chronic ear infections, mixing up sounds and syllables in long words and difficulty learning to tie shoes. For school age children, signs include letter or number reversals past first grade, trouble memorizing multiplication tables and slow, non-automatic handwriting that is difficult to read. Not all signs revolve around the classroom. An extremely messy bedroom or backpack or nightmares about school also could be signs.
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> “Early detection and intervention are very important. Many cases are missed due to children finding ways to cope with their dyslexia until the reading demands become greater in third grade,” said Hanson.
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> If you believe your child or family member is showing signs of dyslexia, The W’s Speech and Hearing Center advises you to take the first step of viewing an online video atwww.BrightSolutions.US regarding symptoms and solutions.
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> After watching the video, and if individuals are convinced that their child is showing signs of dyslexia, contact The W’s Speech and Hearing Center to schedule a phone consultation. There is no fee for the phone conference. Following the phone consultation, the Speech and Hearing Center may request additional school records and make further appointments and testing may be arranged.
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> “We offer one-on-one individualized instruction in a personal learning environment that adheres to the evidence-based programs recommended by the International Dyslexia Association,” stated Hanson.
> If you have a child who has dyslexia, the Speech and Hearing Center recommends that you involve teachers and the school principal in helping create an optimal educational experience. The Center recommends working with your child’s teacher to shorten the spelling list, reduce length of homework and avoid reading out loud in the classroom, among other strategies.
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> It is also vital to get your child active outside the classroom. Hanson encourages them to get involved with sports, music or scouting.
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> “It is important to build a child’s self-esteem through activities that do not require reading, writing, or spelling,” said Hanson.
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> For more information about dyslexia testing and treatment, contact The W’s Speech and Hearing Center at (662) 329-7270.
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