According to a study recently published in the Journal of Pediatrics, first grade children with dyslexia have significantly lower reading scores and verbal IQs compared with their peers, and these differences persist into adolescence. This suggests early intervention is vital to help prevent students from falling into a long term learning deficit.
Learning difficulties can severely hinder children’s learning and enjoyment of school. This can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety or even depression.
Learning disorders such as dyslexia aren’t just an academic or an individual problem; they are also a family problem. Having a child with a learning disorder impacts the entire family. Parents, brothers, sisters, and even grandparents become involved, must adjust, and are changed in the process.
Families don’t just cope with a child who has a learning disorder; they are forever moulded by it. Dreams of a child who reads well and achieves their learning milestones comfortably are shattered and replaced by the recognition that years of extra support and reading help lie ahead.
Deborah Jepsen is the principal psychologist at a clinic in Melbourne that provides diagnosis and counseling for children with learning difficulties and their parents
“Kids with dyslexia can be bright and engaging but parents usually start to realize something is wrong in the first few grades of primary school when their child isn’t able to read, spell or write as well as the other kids,” says Deborah.
And it’s not only parents who notice these differences.
“Parents usually start to realize something is wrong in the first few grades of primary school when their child isn’t able to read, spell or write as well as the other kids”
“They may have problems focusing or they might even start ‘acting-out’ in class to distract from their learning issues. So it’s important to act quickly before these bad habits set in.
The first step is to find out what is really going on with their learning and how they process information. This requires a full learning assessment by an appropriately trained psychologist.
The results will determine what types of interventions are likely to help improve learning skills.
After the learning recommendations have been put in place, parents often start to see some positive changes in their child’s behavior.”
parents are told by well-meaning teachers or other parents that their child will just ‘grow out of it‘
“I advise parents to listen to their intuition,” says Deborah.
“If they notice any signs of learning problems the first step is to have their child properly assessed.
Based on the results we can then recommend practical strategies to help improve learning skills at home and at school.
Each child’s learning profile has its own unique set of challenges and adjustments that need to be made in the teaching style.
The psychologist will also speak with the teacher to make sure that everyone understands the outcomes and is ‘on the same page’.”
And what about the children themselves?
“Parents often say that the self-esteem and confidence boost is the most importantoutcome. Once their child realizes they are not ‘stupid’ and they just learn a bit differently from the other kids, that insight alone can make a big difference.”
“Plus we give them strategies to help focus on their strengths and overcome weaknesses and we help them understand that being ‘different’ isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”
What You Can Do About It
If you or a loved one is currently struggling with a child with Dyslexia you’re not alone. It is estimated that 1 in every 10 people have dyslexia and most of those people go undiagnosed their whole lives.
Contact Melbourne Child Psychology & School Psychology Services to schedule an learning difficulty assessment test. The longer you wait the more severe the consequences become.You can also message Melbourne Child Psychology & School Psychology Services directly by sending them a message below.