Updated: Mar 12
I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers" - Anne of Green Gables
In many ways, I wish I had fallen in love with reading the way many of my friends had when they were younger. To be completely immersed in the story line of a book and to have the independence to do that... to not wonder what words are? Wow! Reading was laborious for me when I was younger. I couldn't comprehend all the texts... And while I can't change my past, I can help other students. There is one particular group of students whose journey to learn how to read is even more laborious than my experience.
October marks the beginning of Dyslexia Awareness Month. The International Dyslexia Association estimates that 15-20% of the population struggles with a language-based learning disability.
So what is Dyslexia?
“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”
Adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002.
Kids who have Dyslexia or a language-based learning disability are bright! In fact, they have average or above average IQs. This is not a global deficit and it is not due to developmental delays.
Please Don't "Wait and See"
If you suspect your child might have Dyslexia or is generally finding reading difficult... do not wait and see. The Ontario Human Rights Commission's report entitled 'Right to Read' states that, "This “wait and see” approach to identifying learning difficulties is widespread in Ontario’s education system. Schools typically wait for students to present extreme difficulty before a teacher notices or is able to refer a student for further support". Do not wait until a teacher says your child is struggling. If you suspect your child is struggling, take action. Find support.
The international Dyslexia Association further explains this by describing Dyslexia as being a neurobiological disorder. As brain plasticity decreases through childhood, we see how early intervention is critical. " It takes four times as long to intervene in fourth grade as it does in late kindergarten (NICHD) because of brain development and because of the increase in content for students to learn as they grow older".
“Deficits in phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming, verbal working memory and letter knowledge have been shown to be robust precursors of dyslexia in children as young as age three” (Gaab, 2017). So let's target these skills!! Let's do something.
Stanovich (1986) found that struggling readers who did not receive early interventions tended to fall further behind their peers. At Latch Onto Learning our early literacy programs target phonological awareness and automatization of the sound-symbol relationship. We are pro-active and we want to see all students learn how to read and write so they too can one day immerse themselves into books like Anne of Green Gables.
Gaab, N. (2017). It’s a myth that young children cannot be screened for dyslexia. Baltimore, MD: International Dyslexia Association. Retrieved from http:// dyslexiaida.org/its-a-myth-that-young-children-cannot-be-screened-for-dyslexia/
Stanovich, K. E. (1986). Matthew effects in reading: Some consequences of individual differences in the acquisition of literacy. Reading Research Quarterly,21(4), 360-406.
International Dyslexia Association
OHRC: Right To Read Report