yslexia is a condition that leads to reading difficulties in children and adults. The difficulties experienced range from challenges with letter and word recognition, struggles with phonemic awareness and reading, difficulties with comprehension, writing, spelling, and sometimes even math.
A child with dyslexia can have difficulties in comprehending the reading material, yet find it easier to understand when it is read out loud by someone else. Dyslexia could persist for a lifetime; nevertheless,with early identification, intervention and appropriate assistance and support, these children can make significant progress and catch up with their peers.
Dyslexia in child research
According to the Dyslexia Center of Utah:
“ One out of five students, or 15-20% of the students have a language-based learning problem.” Further: “70-80% of people with reduced reading skills are dyslexic.”
Children with greater risks of dyslexia are found in populations with lower socioeconomic status and often attend schools with little or no assistance offered for dyslexia remediation. Moreover, dyslexia is the most prevalent language-based learning problem. The Language Tune-up Kit (LTK®), is a specialized software developed to help students struggling with learning to read and could be purchased to assist such children at home, in school, or in tutoring centers.
It was a common belief that dyslexia mostly occurs due to a problem with vision, visual encoding and recognition. Most current research suggests that dyslexia is associated with various brain learning centers associated with language acquisition. A child with dyslexia often has difficulties with letter identification, difficulties with phonics, which leads to a struggle with decoding words, and affects their ability to read and reading fluency.
These children can get frustrated when attempting to read and prefer when others read to them. A child with dyslexia often has average to high average intelligence and some learn to compensate for their reading difficulties in some ways, however, the best approach is to provide early intervention programs to help these students with their educational journey. We know that the sooner we identify and help these students the better the outcomes for the future success.
Causes of dyslexia
The exact causes of dyslexia have been uncertain. However, research has shown that genes and brain functioning could affect the occurrence of dyslexia.
It has been noted that dyslexia is a hereditary disorder. Around 40% of the siblings of children suffering from dyslexia are also dyslexic.
In this case, the LTK is highly recommended as it is a multisensory reading program comprising 87 lessons that help develop decoding skills in dyslexic children.
Studies pertaining to brain imaging have shown differences in brain activity of children with dyslexia in comparison to those without dyslexia. These differences were noted in areas of brain associated with important reading skills that aid in the identification of sounds associated with words and in the recognition of written words. The LTK offers audio recognition activities within each lesson that help in the establishment of the interrelationship between the sound of letters, letter combinations, and words. Thus, our exercises can help improve the brain activity and establish the necessary reading pathways in a child with dyslexia.
Impact of the brain functioning on reading disability
As mentioned earlier, studies on reading and language activities in dyslexic children reveal that brain activity associated with the control of language skills is lesser when compared to that in children without the reading problem. The LTK could be of great help in activating the needed brain areas in dyslexic children as it includes assignments for the identification of sight words, nonsense words and tasks for students that lead to the strengthening of their understanding of phonemes of letters and letter combinations thereby dramatically improving their reading capabilities.