What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a neurological difference often characterized by difficulties with reading, writing and spelling. It may run in the families and can not be “cured.” Individuals with this condition must learn coping strategies.
Dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence. With the right instruction, almost all individuals with dyslexia can learn to read. A multi-sensory, phonics based approach is often the best way to help kids learn to read. The Orton-Gillingham, Barton System and/or Lindamood-Bell programs are well known programs that work.
This great Ted-Ed talk provides an overview of dyslexia.
What should I look for?
Decoding Dyslexia offers these early signs of dyslexia:
- Late speech (3 years or later)
- Mixing up sounds in multi-syllable words (e.g. bisghetti, aminal, mazageen)
- Inability to rhyme by age 4
- Difficulty with substitutions, omissions and deletions
- Unusual pencil grip
- Difficulty remembering rote facts (months of the year, days of the week)
- Confusion of left vs. right
Several organizations offer online self-assessment tools. Take a look at the the Uncovering Dyslexia Topic Guide for suggested websites.
Dyslexia and low self-esteem
One of the biggest challenges of dyslexia is counteracting shame caused by teasing and misunderstanding. Children are often teased because they can’t read as well as others. Teachers may say things like “she’s a slow reader” in front of the child or parents. Kids know what “slow” means and they often grow up believing they are “stupid” and/or “lazy.”
Headstrong Nation’s Learn the Facts wants you to know the facts, help your child recognize her/his strengths and weaknesses, learn how to talk about it with trusted friends and family and eventually, be comfortable sharing one’s real self with the world.
How the library can help
There are three valid types of reading: with your eyes (print & video), with your fingers (Braille) and with your ears (audiobooks). For information about Braille books, contact the Talking Book and Braille Library at the Oregon State Library. Multnomah County Library will help you find materials for reading with your eyes and ears.
Typically easier for someone with dyslexia, the library has thousands of audiobooks on CD and in downloadable formats for people who read with their ears. Library information staff can help you find and use audiobooks.
The library has thousands of DVDs, Blu-ray and downloadable films for people who read with eyes & ears. Library information staff can help you find and use these media.
The topic guide Uncovering Dyslexia is available on the website and My MCL.
Dyslexia Assessment in Multnomah County
Here are a few of the many assessment and intervention providers in the County.
The Blosser Center - Accredited by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, the Blosser Center provides assessment, tutoring and teacher training.
Language Skills Therapy - Provides assessment and tutoring
New Leaves Clinic - Provides assessment and treatment in Hillsboro, Oregon
Northwest Reading Clinic - Provides assessment and intervention
PDX Reading Specialist, LLC - Provides assessment, tutoring, advocacy and professional development