Dyslexia Treatment

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Dyslexia treatments mainly consist of employing educational tools to improve the student’s ability to read. Psychologists and educators are of the opinion that remedial efforts should be focused on the dyslexic child’s specific learning problems, so counseling or medicines are not used in dyslexia treatments.

It is important for a parent to be educated about the condition, for the earlier dyslexia is identified and the problem addressed, the better it is for the child. If treatment is started when the child is quite young, it will improve his reading greatly and he may even avoid reading problems in the starting years at school. However, it is likely that reading will never be completely easy for a student with dyslexia.

Individualized Education Program

There are federal laws for dyslexia treatments which state that when a child who is three years or older has been diagnosed to be dyslexic, the school has to formulate an Individualized Education Program or IEP for the child’s learning needs.

To develop the IEP for a child, the parents have to first talk with the school to make up a treatment team consisting of the parent, the teacher and school personnel including special education teachers and school counselors. The child’s doctor may be asked to attend as well.

The personalized IEP for the child will list the specific disabilities, the teaching methods to be employed and the objectives and goals for the academic year. It has to be evaluated once a year at least and changes have to be made in accordance with the progress the child has made. Parents may appeal in case they don’t agree with any of the provisions of the IEP. The law also mandates that children have to be helped to prepare for further education, finding employment and living independently, and all this has to start before the child is 16 years of age.

Comprehensive studies analyzing how children learn to read show that a mix of educational tools is the best way to teach reading to a child. Teaching of phonics is one of the methods, which teaches the reader to understand how the letters are connected to sounds, or phonemes, to form the words.

Guided oral reading

Dyslexia treatments include guided oral reading - feedback and guidance is given to the child as he/she reads aloud, and this helps in encouraging reading fluency. The instructions must be clearly understood by the child, and they must be systematic and repeatable in order to improve the child’s reading habits.

It had been thought previously that a child with dyslexia read better with one eye covered. Now the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Pediatrics have stated that this type of dyslexia treatment is not effective since the cause of dyslexia is not altered visual function but altered brain function.

However, it has to be remembered that dyslexia lasts throughout one’s life. Dyslexia treatments in early childhood are greatly beneficial but it is likely that the child will have to always take extra pains in order to read.

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