Dyslexia…a deeper look

We are required to continue learning to provide the best services to clients…even if you present courses!! As many of you know, I continue to see patients in my clinic in addition to the teaching I do. I had a recent influx of patients with reading issues in my clinic that could not access the few dyslexia resources in our area…so I dug deeper on dyslexia. Heres what I learned…

Why all the confusion over dyslexia??

There are differing definitions of dyslexia. The DSM5 does not speak of dyslexia but instead uses “Specific Learning Disorder Affecting Reading”. This definition captures issues of phonetics, vision and auditory processing that might affect the ability to read. Meanwhile, the International Dyslexia Association says that dyslexia is a language processing problem and is concerned with the implication of the DSM5 criteria.

This disagreement means the reading specialist and the clinical or neuro-psychologist may not agree if a child has dyslexia. This has huge implications in the classroom and the doctors office.

Meanwhile, my kids are having problems getting diagnosed and more trouble reading.

Courses that change your Prospective

Over the last 25 years I have taken a lot of courses. My favorites were the ones that changed what I did as soon I went back to the clinic. This Dyslexia course did just that sending me off to find visual memory and sequential memory games and brushing up on my Dyslexia Determination Test (DDT) and even giving the Test of Visual Perceptual Skills (TVPS). While I have discussed these assessments elsewhere, I am using them a lot more now and helping families that could not find the answers to help their child learn to read.

The course was called Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia: Building New Neuro Pathways to Master Visual and Auditory Skills offered by PESI. I recommend it highly.

Whats the big change?

I was so close. I had the tools to find the underlying root causes of these reading and spelling difficulties but did not know how to take the next step…how to put it all together.

Now by using the DDT, I identify Dysiedetic (visual or surface) Dyslexia then use the TVPS to find the visual processing areas that are limiting reading performance and address them. In visual dyslexia, patients have difficulty reading and/or spelling sight recognized words. These students are actually too phonetic, making reading and spelling non-phonetic (sight words) more difficult. The assessment can also identify Dysphonetic Dyslexia. When this is the case, I refer them to Speech for work on phonetic awareness.

I then begin working on the deficit areas uncovered by the TVPS. The most areas are visual discrimination, form constancy and visual sequencing. It been interesting seeing how specific the deficient area is.

Here are some of my favorite toys and game when working to improve this dyseidetic dyslexia.

Some things haven’t Changed

We still need to start with a comprehensive eye exam and improve the binocular vision skills, only then we can begin to assess visual processing skills.

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