Dyslexia, also known as reading disorder, is characterized by trouble with reading despite normal intelligence. Different people are affected to varying degrees. Problems may include difficulties in spelling words, reading quickly, writing words, “sounding out” words in the head, pronouncing words when reading aloud and understanding what one reads. Often these difficulties are first noticed at school. When someone who previously could read loses their ability, it is known as alexia. The difficulties are involuntary and people with this disorder have a normal desire to learn.

Dyslexia is believed to be caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Some cases run in families. It often occurs in people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and is associated with similar difficulties with numbers.  It may begin in adulthood as the result of a traumatic brain injury, stroke, or dementia. The underlying mechanisms of dyslexia are problems within the brain’s language processing. Dyslexia is diagnosed through a series of tests of memory, spelling, vision, and reading skills. Dyslexia is separate from reading difficulties caused by hearing or vision problems or by insufficient teaching.

As defined above, Dyslexia is under the general category of a Language Disorder. At PTA, our Speech-Language Pathologists use a variety of skilled methods to treat Dyslexia. We offer the Barton Reading and Spelling System, phonemic awareness therapeutic activities, phonological awareness activities and reading fluency and comprehension activities to increase a child’s reading skills!

Often times, a child is referred at a young age for a Language Disorder by his/her pediatrician. The symptoms noted may include a delay in talking, syntax errors, such as misuse of pronouns, difficulty reciting and/or recognizing the alphabet and difficulties in phonemic awareness skills ( rhyming words, breaking words into syllables, sound blending). These are some of the early warning signs of Dyslexia, that can be detected prior to the age of 3 years. If these pre-reading language symptoms are noted early, remediation can begin to increase a child’s ability to LEARN TO READ!