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Debbie Lou

Number of posts : 218
Age : 49
Registration date : 2007-05-20

PostSubject: DYSLEXIA   Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:35 am

the week.

In this article

What is it?
What causes it?
What are the symptoms?
Advice and support

What is it?

Dyslexia comes from the Greek language meaning 'difficulty with words'. It's hard to define because it affects children in many different ways, but the basic problem is a difficulty learning to read, spell and write, despite adequate intellect and teaching.
What causes it?

Dyslexia is caused by differences in the areas of the brain that deal with language, which aren't yet fully understood.
Several areas in the brain interact in a complex way to coordinate the manipulation of words needed for reading, writing and spelling, so the features of any one person's dyslexia will depend on which areas are affected and how.
Brain-imaging scans show that when dyslexic people try to process information their brains work differently to those without dyslexia. This has nothing to do with intellect - people with dyslexia show a normal range of intelligence.
Inherited or genetic factors are important in dyslexia and other family members are often affected.
Who's affected?

About four per cent of the population have severe dyslexia, while a further six per cent experience mild to moderate problems.
What are the symptoms?

Dyslexia may become apparent in early childhood, with difficulty putting together sequences (for example, coloured beads, days of week, numbers) and a family history of dyslexia or reading difficulties.
Toddlers may jumble words and phrases, forget the names of common objects, have problems with rhyming or show slightly delayed speech development. They may have never crawled (even if walking early) and have problems getting dressed, putting shoes on the right feet and clapping rhythms.
At school, children may lack interest in letters and words, have problems with reading and spelling, put letters and figures the wrong way round, be slow at written work and have poor concentration.
These problems persist as the child grows up, with poor reading, writing and spelling skills, which can erode their self-esteem.
What's the treatment?

Dyslexia should be diagnosed after testing by a psychologist or specialist dyslexia teacher.
There's no cure, but recognition of the problem and appropriate teaching methods can help a great deal. It's vital children are diagnosed and given the help they need.
Other approaches can help, too. In cases linked to visual differences, coloured overlays and lenses can lead to improvement because they may stop the letters from 'dancing on the page' (a common complaint).
The NHS National Electronic Library for Medicines has information about the use of fish oil supplements to improve dyslexic symptoms.
Advice and support

British Dyslexia Association

Tel: 0118 966 8271

British Dyslexics

Tel: 01352 716656

This article was last medically reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks in January 2008
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