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I was reading some articles on Dyslexia in children and some of the things the Child Mind Institute said really stood out to me.

It is estimated that as many as one in five kids has dyslexia, and that 80 to 90 percent of students with learning disorders have it. Dr. Sally Shaywitz, co-director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, notes many children go undiagnosed as struggles in school are incorrectly attributed to intelligence, level of effort or environmental factors.”

1 in 5 Children Have Dyslexia

If that estimation is true there are many children who are not identified as needing help. Then also with those identified as needing help they are told they are not smart or lazy. What a disservice to kids when they are repeatedly told something that may not be true.

At my work I have the opportunity to train a course called “Change Anything” from Vital Smarts. In the course they identify that we do things for two reasons because we want to or because we are able. They repeatedly teach that it is important to determine whether it is a motivation issue or an ability issue. One of my favorite sayings is “If you try to motivate a lack of ability, you don’t create change, you create depression.”

So here are some symptoms of dyslexia from the Mayo Clinic that might help in determining a person’s need for help.

Diagnosing a Student with Dyslexia

Dyslexia signs in teens and adults are similar to those in children. Some common dyslexia signs and symptoms in teens and adults include:

  • Difficulty reading, including reading aloud
  • Slow and labor-intensive reading and writing
  • Problems spelling
  • Avoiding activities that involve reading
  • Mispronouncing names or words, or problems retrieving words
  • Trouble understanding jokes or expressions that have a meaning not easily understood from the specific words (idioms), such as “piece of cake” meaning “easy”
  • Spending an unusually long time completing tasks that involve reading or writing
  • Difficulty summarizing a story
  • Trouble learning a foreign language
  • Difficulty memorizing
  • Difficulty doing math problems

Treating Dyslexia with traditional tutoring may hurt more then help

So if you suspect there is a problem with someone you know, what is the next step? You can definitely go see a doctor or specialist. They can help you identify more specifically the problem for you. When it is identified how do you get the person help?Tutoring? Dr. Cruger says traditional tutoring may actually be counter-productive for a child with dyslexia, particularly if it is not a positive experience.

“If the child hates the experience of reading help, it’s not helpful,” Dr. Cruger said. “And it’s not treating the source of the problem, the decoding weakness.”

Helping Child with Dyslexia to Read

Turn learning struggles into learning abilities! By making new neurological connections students can catch up with their peers.

Free Assessment

Brain Works Training is Rich in Sensory Engagement

One alternative for traditional tutoring is what we call Brain Tutoring. Targeted exercises rich in sensory stimulation engage specific weak neuro-pathways. The more engagement these neuro-pathways receive, the more it will increase neuro-connections. The brain then increases its capacity to process information. Similar to how a sit-up or push-up builds muscle and increases a person’s physical capacity, these exercises build up neurological connections needed to learn.Some of the processes essential for learning are: Focus, Cross Patterning, Figure Ground, Visual Memory, Tracking, and Motor Match.Developing these skills gives a person the building blocks for learning. Which can then lead to confidence and success.

For a free Brain Works assessment on your child’s particular challenges take our ten question survey.

Eric Call


Eric is an owner of Brain Works Idaho and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).