Help for Reading Problems & Dyslexia
Reading is the gateway to learning. It is an important functional skill for a child’s learning development process. In a child’s growing years from birth to age 7, development of these key functional skills is crucial. Developmental delays in this area would result in various forms of learning difficulties for a child.
Dyslexia is a condition where one encounters difficulty in reading, writing and spelling. It arises when the brain fails to translate the information sent by the eyes and ears into an understandable language. It can also affect writing and spelling. It is a lifelong condition and common worldwide.
It is internationally estimated that people with dyslexia represent 4% to 10% of any given population. Singapore is within this range, with about 20,000 students in primary and secondary school diagnosed with dyslexia. This essentially means that in a class of 40 pupils, 1 or 2 have dyslexia.
It is impossible to tell if a child has dyslexia simply by looking at them. Children with dyslexia can even go through the first year of schooling just fine. However, schoolwork gradually becomes a burden and it is wise to seek help if it persists past Primary One (7 years old). Unfortunately, children with dyslexia are often assumed to be careless or inattentive. If this misconception goes on for too long, the child’s self-esteem will fall, resulting in withdrawal and behavioral problems.
For one to become a successful reader, strong cognitive skills are required. Poor auditory processing skills are blamed for at least 80% of reading difficulties. However, it is important to confirm the cause of a child’s reading challenges.
Common Signs of Dyslexia
If you suspect your child may have dyslexia, it is important to have it confirmed. Children with dyslexia have varying capabilities. Dyslexia can be mild, moderate or severe. Since it is difficult to identify dyslexia in a child, it is best to look out for the following signs:
- Reading and spelling inaccurately
- Difficulty in matching letters to sounds when reading
- Trouble recognizing sight words, such as he, she, would, and could
- Challenge in learning new words
- Delayed speech development
- Confuses left and right
- Reversal of numbers and letters without noticing it
- Unusually slow at remembering sets of data
Impact of Dyslexia on Development and Learning
Reading is critical in learning. It is a functional skill that sets the foundation for a child’s education. A child with dyslexia will experience difficulty learning, which will consequently affect development.
Dyslexia doesn’t just affect performance in class, but it also affects the ease with which a person with dyslexia would perform specific tasks. Basic activities such as music, balance, physical movements, and other organizational skills don’t come easy for a person with dyslexia.
It is, however, essential to note that higher cognitive skills, a necessity in higher education, such as reasoning, understanding, interpreting, creating, and synthesizing, are not directly affected.
Therapies for Children with Learning Disabilities
We provide an array of targeted treatments and therapies for children who struggle with different conditions, such as dyslexia. These therapies aim to help people with dyslexia to read faster, become more fluent in language, and identify skill weaknesses which can be overcome after weeks of training.
This therapy helps to develop cognitive skills. These skills include memory development, attention, processing speed, problem-solving, and reasoning. This therapy involves:
- Intensive Mental Workout
We use brain training therapy to target weak cognitive skills. We use exercises and activities that help your child to slowly improve on skills, such as reading, which is a challenge for people with dyslexia. Remember, dyslexic adults may understand why they are they are different, but a dyslexic child may not. A child’s self-esteem takes a hit when he or she struggles with learning when her peers seem to find it easy. Besides helping children to improve their learning skills, this mental workout improves their self-confidence significantly.
- Individual Training Program
We also customize learning programs to suit the needs of the child. Each child will receive one-on-one training that is on par with his cognitive development. An individualized training progam will target the specific difficulties your child encounters when learning.
- Assessment and Scientific Measurement
Before we undertake brain training therapy, we will test and assess your child’s cognitive skills. Doing this ensures we have accurate data on your child’s performance and development before and after the treatment.
- Commitment to Results
When we start this program, our goal is to see your child improve. We will carry out periodic assessments on your child’s progress to help us determine when to move to the next step of the training program.
This therapy is either given as an individually targeted approach, or as a comprehensive developmental milestone assessment. Instead of focusing on the child’s biological age, we look at the age at which he/she functions linguistically and then recommend a program that is catered for that linguistic age and level. These tests will also show a child’s strengths and weaknesses and any other underlying issues.
The literacy skills we look at are: