By Ms. Veena Sukhrani,Speech Therapy
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a common condition observed mostly among children at an early age. A distinguished learning disability, dyslexia affects the portion of the brain which processes language.
Signs and symptoms
The usual signs of dyslexia include the following- inability to identify and/or read speech sounds, difficulty in figuring out the relation between them and words/sentences. Children with dyslexia usually find it extremely hard to identify words that sound similar and often apprehend words or letters in reverse. For instance, they will probably pronounce ‘bad’ as ‘dab’ or ‘tap’ as ‘pat’.
They are likely to face problems dealing with receptive language skills or what is commonly known as spoken language. They may find it hard to remember sequences and follow too many instructions at one time. Take for instance, “Chapter 4- Paragraph 3- Line 5” instructions such as this may be too hard for a dyslexic child to comprehend.
However, people handicapped with dyslexia do possess normal vision and intelligence, so if diagnosed with the disability, you will only need your child to go through a few sessions of speech therapy.
What is speech therapy?
Speech therapy is a therapeutic treatment to help train people with language and speech disorders. It improves your diction and helps you speak more fluently. Before starting with the therapy the doctor will evaluate the severity of your child’s condition and schedule the treatment accordingly.
How does speech therapy help in dyslexia?
- Speech therapy helps your child differentiate between specific words or sound. For instance, the word ‘cap’ will be broken down to ‘c’, ‘a’ and ‘p’. This way it will be easier for your child to spell a word. Furthermore, your speech therapist will give instructions to your child to go ahead and read a particular portion from the text book for which he/she will need to follow multiple instructions and sequences.
- Speech therapy helps with language intervention. To help your child become familiar with certain words which they may otherwise find difficult to identify and spell, the doctor will use images from books and magazines. Sometimes, colorful images are used for this purpose, as children find it more appealing and engaging in the learning process.
- Articulation of words helps your child speak simply and slowly- it determines the manner of speaking and speech pattern. Your child is taught how to pronounce single-syllable words at a time, how to move their lips and tongue to produce specific sound etc. Speech articulation strongly recommends one to make an effort to have each word pronounced properly before moving on to the next one.
- In order to make the therapeutic process more fun and effective, the doctor may want to try out different and innovative techniques such as using a voice recorder to record a vocabulary list for the week. When your child listens to the recorder multiple times, it becomes much easier for them to practice speaking those words fluently on their own.
How long does it take to recover?
One must keep in mind that the process of speech therapy requires great deal of time and patience. In order to get rid of dyslexia, your child will require to undergo multiple sessions of the treatment, each one accounting for a span of 2-3 hours. The amount of therapy and time period needed to cure the disorder will depend largely on the person undergoing treatment- how much progress or improvement he/she makes during the period.