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Dyslexia is a learning disability that makes reading, spelling and language comprehension difficult. There is no correlation between dyslexia and levels of intelligence. The signs of dyslexia can be easily recognizable, and early treatment and training can improve reading and language skills as well as academic performance. Specialized treatment is available in the US, and there are several dyslexia training methods that help to improve reading and language skills.
Early diagnosis and dyslexia training are key to increasing the chances of academic success for children with dyslexia. In the US, federal law mandates that schools must provide an Individual Education Program (IEP) for children diagnosed with learning disabilities such as dyslexia. The IEP details the nature and severity of the child’s learning disability and spells out a treatment plan with specific goals and objectives.
Concentration on phonics and how letters in the alphabet relate to sound are often the building blocks of effective dyslexia training. Many experts recommend that people with dyslexia read out loud. To be most effective, the oral reading should be supervised and feedback should be provided. Once the basics are mastered, people with dyslexia can move on to focus on reading comprehension and vocabulary. Some parents of children with dyslexia might find that tutors are necessary to help with schoolwork and improve academic performance.
Two dyslexia training methods are well-known: the Orton-Gillingham Method and the Slingerland Method. Dr. Samuel T. Orton and Anna Gillingham, an education professional, developed the Orton-Gillingham Method, while Beth Slingerland adapted the Orton-Gillingham Method for classroom use. These methods are based on an approach that is multi-sensory, meaning that they integrate sound, sight and movement to train a person with dyslexia. The programs start by educating the person in how letters and groups of letters relate to sounds. Reading aloud to engage the senses of sight and sound, and writing to engage body movement are key elements of these programs.
Although they may be highly intelligent, people who suffer from dyslexia have trouble comprehending the system of language and writing. A person with dyslexia may be brilliant in math or art, but struggles with reading because he or she has trouble grasping phonetic sounds and their relationship to the alphabet. Some people may have extreme difficulty reading a book like The Cat in the Hat, as rhyming sounds can be problematic for someone with dyslexia. Some other signs of dyslexia include the reversal of letters and numbers, and writing skills that do not match the person's intelligence level.
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