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Problems with Reading, Writing and Spelling: Dyslexia


Reading, writing, and spelling challenges characterize dyslexia. The condition can be detected and addressed at an early age using the appropriate teaching methods. Dyslexia arises as a result of genetic, environmental, and neurological factors. Tools like Nessy’s Dyslexia Quest screening instrument and Dyslexia+ Profiler can help to assess the disorder. Teachers and parents can use secondary intervention to assist kids with dyslexia. Besides, they can employ multisensory instructions to treat the condition.

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Another term for dyslexia is reading disorder. Difficulties in reading despite the usual acumen are one of the features of dyslexia. According to Frith (2013), dyslexia affects people differently. The disorder is mostly detected when a child reaches school-going age.

  1. The objective of this study is to determine the factors that contribute to dyslexia and how they can be addressed. The study will serve as an eye-opener to parents as well as elementary school teachers. It will discuss the characteristics of dyslexia, its causes, and how it affects a child’s behavior, speech, cognition, and language.
  2. Additionally, the paper will discuss the assessment tools and intervention and instructional approaches. It will also discuss the treatment options that can help to address the condition. The article will touch on alternative treatments and evaluations and give recommendations on learning modifications.

Characteristics and Manifestation of Dyslexia in children

Definition and overall characteristics of dyslexia

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke describes dyslexia as “difficulty with phonological processing, spelling, and rapid visual-verbal responding” (as cited in Frith, 2013, p. 49). On the other hand, the definition by the British Dyslexia Association depicts the condition as characterized by learning challenges, which mainly influence the skills that facilitate precise and effortless word reading and spelling.

Causes of dyslexia amid children

According to the cerebellar theory, dyslexia occurs due to the damage of the cerebellum-controlled muscle movement. The injury inhibits one’s ability to form words using the tongue and facial muscles. The condition also arises as a result of genetic factors. Frith (2013) posits, “Abnormal cortical development presumed to occur before or during the sixth month of fetal brain development causes the abnormality” (p. 52).

The manifestation of dyslexia among children

  1. Some cognitive features of the condition include challenges in phonological processing, short-term memory, and difficulties in automatizing skills. The child is unable to acquire phonic skills, thus misreading unpopular words. Problems in memory affect the victim’s ability to remember letter-sound associations.
  2. Some behavioral features of dyslexia include the fear to read aloud and to write. Besides, a child has challenges in distinguishing right from left. According to Kovelman et al., (2013), a child suffering from dyslexia exhibits delayed development of speech. Kids with dyslexia have difficulties in expressing themselves through spoken language.

Assessment tools for the condition

Various tools are used to assess dyslexia in children. They include Nessy’s Dyslexia Quest screening tool and Dyslexia+ Profiler (Kovelman et al., 2013).

  1. Nessy’s Dyslexia Quest screening tool is based on “the tests of educational psychologists, mirroring the output that they would assess to determine the likelihood of dyslexia” (Kovelman et al., 2013, p. 758). The screening results are not an official diagnosis of the condition. Instead, they help to identify potential areas of interest.
  2. The Dyslexia+ Profiler is a sophisticated online testing program that contributes to determining traits attributed to dyslexia. The program assists kids to exploit their skills and discern the difficulties associated with different aspects of life. Thus, they can cope with their condition.

Intervention and instructional strategies for dyslexia

Instructional Strategies for the condition

Numerous interventions and instructional strategies can be used to help children suffering from dyslexia. Teachers can offer high-quality instructions coupled with occasional standard assessments to determine kids with difficulties. Besides, they can conduct universal screening to determine children who suffer from the disorder.

Intervention mechanisms for the disorder

Nelson and Gregg (2012) cite secondary intervention as an appropriate strategy for dealing with dyslexia. According to Nelson and Gregg (2012), secondary response “corresponds to the provision of more intensive instructions given individually or in groups to failing readers in early years” (p. 42). The secondary intervention uses both direct and strategy instruction techniques.

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Treatment options for people with dyslexia

Nelson and Gregg (2012) claim that there are no drugs for curing dyslexia. Nonetheless, different treatment options may be used to help kids with dyslexia. One of the methods used to treat dyslexia is multisensory instruction.

  1. Multisensory instruction contributes to equipping students with reading skills. It entails using different senses to acquire learning skills. Teachers help “students to learn syllables by tapping them out with their fingers” (Tops, Callens, Bijn, & Brysbaert, 2014, p. 463).
  2. Reading experts, tutors, and psychologists can assist kids to gain reading dexterity through decoding. Decoding entails “associating letters with sounds, breaking words into sounds, and blending sounds into words” (Tops et al., 2014, p. 466).

Evaluation and treatment alternatives for children with dyslexia

Evaluation entails collecting information to determine what leads to a child having reading or spelling problems

One should gather information from parents and teachers to have clear information about educational and growth opportunities offered to a child. Issuing tests can go a long way towards determining the strengths and weaknesses of a kid. It can help to establish an appropriate intervention strategy.

Treatment options for children with dyslexia

Van Viersen, Kroesbergen, Slot, and Bree (2016) maintain that it is imperative to use a functional approach to treating a child who has dyslexia. The treatment method should depend on the degree of skills development of the kid. Van Viersen et al. (2016) state that it is crucial to consider the level of competence of the student instead of his/her grade level.

Recommendations to parents and teachers

Parents and educators have a role to play in assisting children with dyslexia

  1. Parents should encourage their kids to read to acquire skills. Encouraging children to read printed materials can go a long way towards supporting those with dyslexia. It helps them to understand the spelling and pronunciation of words.
  2. Teachers should use resources that motivate learners with dyslexia. They ought to ensure that a lesson is multisensory. Berninger and Abbott (2013) argue that a lesson should involve listening, touching, speaking, and looking. Teachers should be keen to understand their learners and help them accordingly.


Parents and teachers can help kids with dyslexia through different techniques. Some standard features of dyslexia include challenges in reading, spelling, visual coding, and writing and fluency skills. Interventions such as direct and strategy instructions can help to address the problem.


Frith, U. (2013). Autism and dyslexia: A glance over 25 years of research. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8(6), 45-63.

Kovelman, L., Norton, E., Christodoulou, J., Gaab, N., Lieberman, D., Triantafyllou, C., Wolf, M., Whitefield-Gabrieli, S., & Gabrieli, J. (2013). Brains basis of phonological awareness for spoken language in children and its disruption in dyslexia. Cereb Cortex, 22(4), 754-764.

Nelson, J., & Gregg, N. (2012). Adolescents and college students with ADHD, dyslexia, or comorbid ADHD/dyslexia. Journal of Attention Disorders, 16(3), 34-65.

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Tops, W., Callens, M., Bijn, E., & Brysbaert, M. (2014). Spelling in adolescents with dyslexia: Errors and modes of assessment. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 47(4), 435-478.

Van Viersen, S., Kroesbergen, E., Slot, E., & Bree, E. (2016). High reading skills mask dyslexia in gifted children. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 49(2), 782-793.

Berninger, V., & Abbott, R. (2013). Differences between children with dyslexia who are and are not gifted in verbal reasoning. Gifted Child Quarterly, 57(4), 102-125.

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