Does your teen struggle to read? Is he finding it difficult to cope with the academic pressure at school? Well, if you can relate your adolescent to the above situations chances are he may be suffering from dyslexia.
Dyslexia or the reading disorder can pose a major obstacle to your child’s education. It is very important to consult an expert medical professional to help your teenager overcome the difficulties due to dyslexia. Want to know more about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for dyslexia in teens? Go ahead and give this article a read!
What Is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a reading disorder that makes it difficult for children to read properly, identify sounds, and understand alphabets and words. At times, parents are unable to diagnose the reading disorder when their child is young and can do so only when he turns a teenager. Dyslexia can occur in teens with normal intelligence and vision (1).
[ Read: Asperger’s Syndrome In Teens ]
Causes Of Dyslexia In Teens:
The exact cause of dyslexia in teens is not yet clear, but researchers believe in certain theories which include:
1. Genetic Factor:
If either of the parents is suffering from dyslexia, then there are 50% chances that their teen too will suffer from the same (2).
2. Brain Anatomy:
Structural differences in the brains of teens suffering from the disorder can be the cause of dyslexia. Brains of dyslexic teens exhibit variation, particularly in the left hemisphere (3).
3. Utilization Of Broca’s Area:
Brains of teens with dyslexia show very less activity in areas concerned with written words and their phonetic components. As a result, a dyslexic teen relies on alternate neurological pathways for reading. He may utilize Broca’s area, the front section of the brain, which relates to other aspects of speech and language processing (4).
[ Read: Down Syndrome In Teens ]
Symptoms Of Dyslexia In Teenagers:
Common signs of dyslexia in teens that you need to watch out for include:
- Difficulty in reading
- Tendency to misspell or spell the same word differently
- Hesitation to take reading and writing tests
- Difficulty in memorizing
- Difficulty in writing summaries
- Difficulty with time management
- Problems in learning a foreign language
- Poor vocabulary (5)
Diagnosing Dyslexia In Teens:
If you suspect that your teen is suffering from dyslexia, you should seek an appointment with a doctor immediately. He may use the following methods to diagnose the disorder in your adolescent:
- Evaluation Of The Teen’s Medical History And Academic Issues: The doctor can ask the details of your teen’s medical, social, behavioral, and educational history.
- Vision, Neurological, And Hearing Tests: These three tests will confirm the disorder or help identify any other health condition that may be adversely affecting your teen’s learning.
- Psychological Tests And Questionnaires: The doctor will ask questions to your teen to gain insight into his psychology and to determine if he suffers from anxiety or depression that is hindering his reading abilities. The doctor may also ask your teen and you to answer certain written questions.
- Reading Tests: The doctor may ask a reading expert to evaluate your child’s performance in a few educational tests (6).
Dyslexia Treatment For Teenagers:
Even though there is no specific cure for dyslexia in teenagers, following certain measures can help your teen overcome the difficulties of dyslexia easily and effectively. The supportive approach includes:
- One-to-one tutoring from a trained professional to improve the reading and learning ability of your teen.
- A multi-sensory approach to learning, which will enhance your teen’s sensory perception including listening, viewing, reading, and speaking.
- Encourage your teen to watch and follow a phonics-based reading program, which will help him understand the link between the written and spoken sounds.
- Encourage your teen to listen or watch educational audios and videos to improve his reading and learning ability substantially.
- Request your teen’s school authorities to take oral instead of written tests for him (7).
Did your teen suffer from dyslexia? How did you help your teenager overcome the disorder? Share your experience and advice with other moms.
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