Q: What is Dyslexia?
A: Dyslexia affects 1 in 10 individuals, many of whom remain undiagnosed and receive little or no intervention services. For some people who have never been diagnosed, dyslexia is a hidden disability, which may result in underemployment, difficulty navigating academic environments, difficulty on the job, and reduced self-confidence. Even those who have been diagnosed are likely to struggle with reading or writing in some aspects of their lives. Dyslexia is a specific reading disorder and does not reflect low intelligence. There are many bright and creative individuals with dyslexia who never learn to read, write, and/or spell at a level consistent with their intellectual ability if the correct intervention is not found.
Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. Dyslexia refers to a cluster of symptoms, which result in people having difficulties with specific language skills, particularly reading. Students with dyslexia usually experience difficulties with other language skills such as spelling, writing, and pronouncing words. Dyslexia affects individuals throughout their lives; however, its impact can change at different stages in a person’s life. It is referred to as a learning disability because dyslexia can make it very difficult for a student to succeed academically in the typical instructional environment, and in its more severe forms, will qualify a student for special education, special accommodations, or extra support services.
Q: What are the effects of dyslexia?
A: The impact that dyslexia has is different for each person and depends on the severity of the condition and the effectiveness of instruction or remediation. The core difficulty is with word recognition and reading fluency, spelling, and writing. Some dyslexics manage to learn early reading and spelling tasks, especially with excellent instruction, but later experience their most debilitating problems when more complex language skills are required, such as grammar, understanding textbook material, and writing essays.
People with dyslexia can also have problems with spoken language, even after they have been exposed to good language models in their homes and good language instruction in school. They may find it difficult to express themselves clearly, or to fully comprehend what others mean when they speak. Such language problems are often difficult to recognize, but they can lead to major problems in school, in the workplace, and in relating to other people. The effects of dyslexia reach well beyond the classroom.
Q: What difficulties could my child have and do you address them at Connections Learning Center?
A: Auditory Processing, ADD/ADHD, Poor Reading/Decoding/Spelling, Poor Reading Comprehension, Weak Oral or Written Language, Poor organization/study skills, Poor Critical Thinking, Poor Executive Function, Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Developmental Delays, Dyscalculia or math, Dysgraphia, Poor Motor Skills, Body and Attention Awareness and Control, Processing Speed, Auditory and Visual Processing.
All these problems can be addressed at Connections Learning Center. With our many evidence based programs we can strengthen most weaknesses and in most cases we can fix the problem.
Q: Are Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) Learning Disabilities?
A: No, they are behavioral disorders.
An individual can have more than one learning or behavioral disability. In various studies as many as 50% of those diagnosed with a learning or reading difference have also been diagnosed with ADHD. Although disabilities may co-occur, one is not the cause of the other.
No matter what weaknesses exist, the important thing is finding solutions. Sometimes students have a lot of testing done and sometimes professionals may disagree on a diagnosis. It doesn’t matter what we call it- dyslexia, ADHD, executive functioning, etc. The important thing is being able to find weaknesses and know what to do about it. Here at Connections we are all about solutions. If a student is having trouble learning to read, we will identify why and then offer a solution. It a student is having problems focusing, we will offer a solution. Whatever the problem, we will offer a solution.
Q: I think my child is not reading well enough, but the teacher says he/she will be fine. What should I do?
A: As parents we spend a great deal of time working with our children. It has been my experience that when a parent suspects a problem they are correct 99% of the time. Often children are learning to read by sight and are not developing the necessary skills to be a good reader for life. Children need good auditory processing and phonological skills. If your child is having trouble learning the alphabet, sounds of letters, combining sounds to make words or hearing the sounds that make up a simple word, intervention should be sought.
Q: Can having problems learning to read be a matter of maturation?
A: No. It has been proven through studies that if a child is struggling in pre-school, chances are he/she will continue to struggle if the correct intervention is not used.
Q: Why can’t the schools do what we do at Connections?
A: First of all, it is difficult to find professionals who have been trained to do what we do at Connections. Secondly, even if the teacher knows about these strategies, the system is not set up as to allow him/her to implement them effectively. Teachers have too many children in the classroom, are too restricted as to what they can do, and have too much paperwork.