Traditional and alternative therapies for dyslexia exist, but the most common treatment involves tutoring and teaching techniques to help a child adapt to the learning disability. Alternative therapies for dyslexia may or may not work, and spark controversy in some medical circles. They include balance or movement therapy, music therapy, vision therapy, and nutritional therapy. These alternative therapies for dyslexia typically cause no harm to the learning-disabled child and might reduce symptoms in some cases.
The most common treatment for dyslexia involves a combination of teaching methods via special education resources. A reading specialist using these therapies for dyslexia typically uses phonics to teach a child to differentiate sounds of individual letters that appear in words. Reading out loud might help the child recognize how sounds of letters contribute to the sounds of words.
Balance or movement therapy for dyslexia is based on the concept of primitive reflexes that persist beyond a child’s first year. These reflexes develop in the womb, such as the suckling reflex, to permit survival during the early months of life. Practitioners using movement therapy for dyslexia believe secondary reflexes, such as large and small motor control, fail to develop in children with learning disorders. They use movement mirroring innate primary reflexes to foster neurological growth of secondary reflexes.
Vision therapy for dyslexia might include covering one eye while a child reads to improve tracking as the eye travels from left to right across a page. This might be helpful if both eyes fail to work in tandem or to address weak eye muscles. Some vision therapies for dyslexia include eye exercises to strengthen visual muscles used to track words and sentences.
Special colored lenses represent another form of vision therapy. A calming color, such as blue, might create balance in the autonomic nervous system and open the visual field to improve peripheral vision. This method might be used in combination with tiny electrical currents administered to the eye to improve circulation and stimulate better vision.
Sound therapy for dyslexia, also called music therapy, aims to improve listening skills to foster better identification of sounds in words. These techniques promote the idea that better speech leads to improved reading skills in children with auditory processing disorders. Concentration might also improve with music therapy.
Children with dyslexia experience problems with reading, writing, and spelling. The brain does not process written information properly, even in children who are highly intelligent. The disorder might be linked to genetics because if often runs in families. Exposure to chemicals might also contribute to dyslexia.
Early signs of dyslexia include delayed speech and trouble remembering new words. A toddler with the disorder might be unable to follow directions involving more than one step. School-age children typically show difficulty discerning single words by their sounds. They might reverse the letters B and D, or write words backward. Diagnosis usually occurs after testing by a reading specialist.