. . . There is no research evidence to suggest that dyslexia
solves itself as the child gets older.
Symptoms of Dyslexia
Key symptoms are lack of fluency and
automaticity, and lack of accuracy (
guessing), in spite of adequate learn-to-read
instruction, motivation, and intelligence.
Secondary signs vary per child and condition and may not always be present:
weakness in memorizing sequences, weak
spelling, early development speech issues,
and current pronunciation issues. Parents
or grandparents who struggled in reading
increase the risk (genetic link6). We may
also observe deteriorating motivation for
school and changes in overall behavior.
By the age of 8 to 10, behavioral changes typically start to surface. For some
children this expresses itself in withdrawal, depression, and isolation. In others it may go in a more outward direction
of frustration, anger, rebellion, and anti-authoritarianism.
the Reading Readiness Screening Tool
( RightToRead.ca). For children aged 7
and up, Dynaread ( Dynaread.com) offers
a free online assessment. Results are reviewed and followed up by a science team
member free of charge.
You Tube9 titled “Dorothy Bishop: Evaluating Alternative Solutions for Dyslexia.”
In this video, Dr. Bishop provides some
very useful tips about how to identify
are still the preferred means for these
older children. However, in two common
scenarios these approaches are no longer
Proper diagnosis is key to effective remediation. Linda Siegel, Ph.D.,
recommends screening or testing every
child who does not progress after three
months of primary reading education.
Sadly, research shows that only 5% of
struggling readers are appropriately diagnosed by the age of 10. Since the majority of struggling readers struggle with
phonological processing, a cost-effective
diagnostic approach is to specifically
measure the Fast Route and Slow Route
functioning. For younger children, consider Dibels ( dibels.uoregon.edu) or
With children under the age of 7, remediation should focus on methods based
on the Orton-Gillingham approach. The
International Dyslexia Association (In-
terdys.org) features a short article8 defining this approach. To read this article,
google search for “interdys OGBased
and MSL Approaches.” Google search for
“Orton Gillingham” to locate programs.
Key is multisensory, contextually relevant, systematic, direct instruction.
When children pass the age of 7, the
playing field changes, as the struggle typically is no longer restricted to the field
of reading. Years of consecutive failures
have eroded belief in their reading ability
and their intrinsic motivation to learn to
read. Nobody likes to be engaged in sure-to-fail and sure-to-frustrate activities.
Remediation for these older children has
given birth to a number of indirect approaches that are non-language based—
programs that seek to remediate reading
through brain exercises. In the last eighteen months scientific research into these
indirect approaches has demonstrated
that genuine benefits are typically lacking. Dr. Dorothy Bishop, Ph.D., offers a
very insightful interview on this topic on
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