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Dyslexia: concept, causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatments

Dyslexia is a learning disability characterized by difficulty in reading and writing in people who do not have intellectual, hearing or vision problems. According to Mendilahrsu, dyslexia is a complex neuropsychological syndrome that affects written language as a function of high cortical integration .

Dyslexia is manifested mainly by the difficulty in acquiring and handling the written code . People who suffer from it tend to have an average intelligence above the average and can have different degrees of dyslexia – mild or severe dyslexia.

This is a syndrome that alters the subject’s reading ability causing confusion in the order of letters, words and / or syllables. This condition is congenital and persistent.

Its mother symptom is the decline in literacy. It does not affect intelligence therefore if a child has intellectual problems such as mental retardation, he will never be a dyslexic child.

Causes of dyslexia

Scientific results have not yet been found that indicate the origin of dyslexia, but there is evidence that points to the possibility that this condition is hereditary. 

The evidence was found by a team from the Yale School of Medicine, which found that defects in a gene known as DCDC2 are directly associated with problems with reading performance.

Another cause may be the acquisition of dyslexia . There is a small minority of people who suffer from acquired dyslexia, this condition arises after they are born. The most common causes of acquired dyslexia are brain injury , stroke, some other type of  trauma,  or influencing psychological factor. Brain imaging studies have shown some brain differences between people with dyslexia and those without. These differences are found in areas of the brain involved with key reading skills. Reading skills consist of knowing how sounds are represented in words and recognizing what written words look like.

Symptoms of dyslexia

  • Instability of memory to remember letters, words, numbers, spelling, grammar, mathematics, names …
  • Tendency to jump over or mess up letters, words, and sentences.
  • They are prone to compensatory head tilt, near-far focus, and finger pointing
  • Lack of concentration , distraction, sensitivity to light, delays in visual and phonetic processing
  • Reverse letters and written words
  • They have difficulties with balance and coordination, which affects functions: walking, running, jumping, etc.
  • Poor spelling, have a lot of spelling errors
  • Memory impairment for visual and phonetic spelling details
  • Omission of specific vowels / consonants
  • They have speech disorders such as tangled, stuttering, articulation errors and poor memory of the word
  • Anxiety
  • They have difficulties with the automatic sequence of words or thoughts of expression.
  • They tend to make mistakes or omissions of words, displacement, condensation, reversal of sequence and meaning
  • Bad memory of the facts of addition, subtraction, multiplication.
  • They confuse + and –
  • Difficulty with division, fractions, word problems, algebra, geometry
  • Confuse Right / Left
  • They have difficulty recognizing north / south, east / west
  • Have difficulty learning analog time and reverse digital time
  • They present great difficulty in learning foreign languages.
  • They have low  self-esteem
  • They tend to have low self-confidence
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Dyslexia diagnosis

Many professionals agree that there is an overdiagnosis of this disease, since the prevalence is, depending on the different populations, 7-10%.

It can never be diagnosed before the age of 8 or the second year of school as there may be a normal delay in the acquisition of the written code. And after this age, a clear distinction must be made, clearing out non-quantifiable developmental factors , such as emotional aspects that do not allow the child to develop normally in reading and writing.

Dyslexia is  not predicted but it can be prevented since an accurate and timely diagnosis is synonymous with a good or very good prognosis.

Treatment for dyslexia

Treatment for dyslexia consists of the use of educational tools to improve reading ability. To reduce the symptoms and prevent the degree of severity of this psychopathology, the treatment must be carried out during the infantile stage.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help the patient to educate himself about his condition, understand the causes that led him to suffer from psychopathology, learn to use the necessary tools to reduce symptoms and be able to lead the best possible lifestyle given his condition.

The child with dyslexia should get help both at home and in the institution to which he attends. They will not learn what they are not told, and they must be taught in a programmed way and gradually build on what they have learned. Each child with dyslexia has a unique learning profile.

How to help the child with dyslexia?

In institutions, teachers, together with parents and other specialists from the school, create special programs that are tailored to the needs of children with this disorder. Each teacher must have a working knowledge of the rules of the language and must know how to teach reading directly, individually, explicitly and systematically.

Phases of learning in children with dyslexia

Awareness of phonetics: The child must be taught to decompose into paragraphs, sentences, words, syllables, sounds or phonemes. Having phonetic awareness means having sensitivity to the sounds of language that allow a person to manipulate the sounds of speech.

Alphabetic comprehension  By having alphabetical comprehension, the child realizes that the letters of the alphabet represent the sounds of the words we use. This is an essential requirement to start reading.

Phonetic instruction: The phonetic instruction technique reinforces the relationships between letters and the sounds they make. It helps to know the spelling rules and explain the writing system of each language. Within the explanation of the writing system are taught: vowel patterns, word origins, prefixes and suffixes.

Fluency: Fluency is the last of the phases of language and writing development. It involves reading continuously, respecting the spelling rules and having knowledge of the words expressed. If we can get a child with dyslexia to read fluently, we will have reached a key part of the treatment. From then on it will only be necessary to reinforce the techniques.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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