Learning to read seems simple enough. After all, how hard can it be to interpret those symbols on the page? For many, however, classroom reading instruction is the beginning of a lifetime of struggle, embarrassment, shame and poor self esteem.
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a term generally applied to anyone who struggles with learning to read. The common definition describes a person with reading difficulties, despite having normal intelligence, and participating in standard classroom reading instruction. A person with dyslexia may also have difficulties with fine motor skills, maths, spelling, memory, organisational skills, study skills, self esteem and activities in everyday life.
Reading is more than simply something that happens in the brain. It is also connected to the senses of balance, vision and hearing, as well as muscle tone.
Intense tutoring and more instruction does not always help. Often, the issue is deeper than this and the classroom struggles that we see are really only the tip of the iceberg.
How Does Dyslexia Happen?
Many children described as being dyslexic have signs of developmental delay in a number of areas. Stress or overwhelm in infancy or early childhood can affect a child’s ability to learn.
An assessment can offer a window into your child’s world, identifying areas of need. Once we can see what is happening for your child, we can start to address them. The best way to do this is by filling in the underlying gaps that might have been missed in their early years.
Reading ability is built on a strong foundation of early sensory and motor skills. Being able to sit still, and pay attention makes learning to read so much easier. Other skills that can help your child’s reading readiness include:
- A well-developed sense of balance makes it easier for your child to take their focus away from the horizon. Then they can move their eyes together across the page, without feeling seasick.
- Both eyes need to be able to work together, moving smoothly across the page, as well as being able to focus on a single point
- Each eye picks up slightly different images, and the brain has to put this information together and make it meaningful
- Your child needs to be able to “hear” and process the sounds of the letter combinations
- Good posture means your child can sit comfortably without moving or wriggling, and helps them to concentrate
What to Do?
The good news is that addressing these underlying gaps can help your child in many ways beyond just reading and writing. Without the frustration of trying to keep up, they are able to relax, making friends more easily, and having fewer meltdowns.
I offer a non-invasive, drug free approach to supporting your child’s learning and behaviour. During the last 15 years I have seen many success stories, happy children and happy parents. Some of these stories are offered as Case Studies and Testimonials for you to read.
Children develop in natural, pre-determined stages. Each new stage is built on the foundations of the earlier ones, a bit like building blocks. When one stage has been missed or is incomplete, the “stack” becomes unsteady, and your child will likely struggle to learn. Some of these early stages of development happen during floor play and tummy time.
This is when your child is building the muscles necessary for being able to sit in the classroom and learn. They are also developing the hand-eye coordination they will need to be able to hold a pencil and write. At the same time their eyes and ears are learning to work together to develop their sense of balance, so they can sit still and concentrate.
We can help your child by addressing the immaturities, or filling in the gaps. The aim is to build the foundations for later learning in all areas – social, emotional, behavioural, physical, as well as in the classroom.
Before starting with me, Bobby was disorganised in class, behind with reading, and often getting onto trouble. After 14 months, his reading level had improved by three years, he was more organised, and his teacher reported that he was able to get on with his work.
If you are concerned about your child’s reading, writing, emotional outbursts or social skills, why not give me a call? We can arrange a time to meet up to have a talk about what is happening in your child’s life, and discuss options for helping them.
I am registered with the NDIS as a Provider of Therapeutic Supports. Your visits may be covered as part of your child’s plan.