Symptoms

There are various signs a child may have a reading disorder, such as dyslexia. Signs include:

  • Difficulty breaking words into sounds and syllables
  • Difficulty associating letters with sounds
  • No interest in books or being read to
  • Difficulty rhyming
  • Difficulty recognizing his own name or common names like “mom” or “dad” in print
  • Trying to memorize text, particularly older kids
  • Difficulty reading aloud

Understanding dyslexia

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that causes children to have difficulties with certain language skills, particularly reading. Children and teens with dyslexia may also have difficulties with oral or written skills, such as pronunciation and writing. Dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling difficulties. Children with dyslexia have low reading levels, but they often have average or above-average cognitive abilities—dyslexia isn’t due to lack or intelligence or desire to learn.

The causes of dyslexia aren’t completely clear, but studies show there are differences in the way the brain develops and functions in people with dyslexia. Most people with dyslexia have difficulty identifying the separate speech sounds within a word or learning how letters represent those sounds.

While there’s no cure or quick fix for dyslexia, children can overcome its challenges with specialized therapy. The brain, like any muscle, can be trained to operate differently and more efficiently.

Evaluation and Treatment

Reading disorders therapy is most appropriate for children ages 4 and older. Therapy sessions are personalized to meet each child’s needs, including an exercise plan to follow at home. It’s important for parents to be involved in therapy to ensure the child gets the most from his therapy plan.

After we evaluate your child at one of our outpatient rehabilitation locations, he has access to a full range of therapy services. The level of therapy depends on his age, goals and disorder. We also offer an intensive therapy plan that includes two to three sessions a week for six weeks.

Our clinicians are specially trained in phonological awareness (knowing what oral language sounds like) and phoneme production (pronouncing words correctly). Both capabilities are essential in reading. Our occupational therapists and audiologists provide individualized, one-on-one therapy and are available to assist with issues beyond reading.

We require a doctor’s referral for evaluation and treatment. Children may be seen at Children’s Medical Office Building, Children’s at Cobb, Children’s at Fayette or Children’s at Satellite Boulevard.

Call 404-785-7100 for more information.

Screening

A reading screening can help determine if your child has a reading disorder. We offer screenings for children ages 4 to 8. For children older than 8, we recommend a full reading assessment.

Call Cathy Chronic at 404-785-8189 to schedule a screening.