Dyslexia is a learning disorder that can impact a child’s ability to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols. Because dyslexia doesn’t affect general intelligence or academic capability, it often goes unnoticed until a student displays significant struggles with reading and/or writing.
Without prompt identification and early dyslexia intervention, students may start to fall behind academically and experience a decrease in self-esteem and motivation.
To avoid an even bigger learning gap and negative effects on student well-being, educators need to know what dyslexia is, how to identify dyslexia in students, and how to provide dyslexia interventions that support students’ learning needs.
Here are six key facts about dyslexia to help guide early dyslexia intervention:
- Dyslexia is the most common of all neuro-cognitive disorders, impacting 20 percent of the US population and representing 80-90 percent of all individuals who have learning disabilities.
- Early dyslexia intervention is key to student success – the earlier we intervene, the easier it is to address and remediate students’ challenges. Research shows that interventions are the most effective when they are done in kindergarten and first grade.
- Early identification is crucial for early dyslexia intervention: Early identification has been found to be essential in helping students succeed in school and later in life. If intervention is not provided before third grade, it’s 75 percent more likely that students will continue to experience reading and writing difficulties going into high school.
- Signs of dyslexia include difficulty naming letters and numbers, difficulty writing or spelling, struggles with rhymes, mispronunciation of words, and even a lack of self-confidence when speaking or reading. Family history of dyslexia or other learning difficulties can also help identify students with dyslexia: Research has shown that dyslexia runs in families, and as many as 49 percent of parents of identified students also have dyslexia.
- The first step to providing effective interventions for a student who may have dyslexia is connecting with the student’s family to discuss academic performance and potential next steps. In many instances, students will be placed in RTI (Response to Intervention), where the teacher will address the identified learning gaps and monitor for progress.
- Educational technology helps to level the playing field for students with dyslexia. Students with dyslexia need to be provided with interventions that are specific to their needs, and digital curriculum can give teachers access to a full curriculum and supplementary instructional components to provide students with the necessary support. Since early intervention is so vital for students with dyslexia, it’s important that parents, caregivers, and teachers all recognize and understand its early indicators and act quickly.
Learn more about early dyslexia intervention in the eSchool News article: Don’t wait: The importance of early dyslexia intervention.