Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that makes it difficult for someone to process numbers or words. It affects a person’s ability to read, write, spell, and comprehend. It is important to understand that having dyslexia does not mean someone has a low IQ. Your dyslectic child or teenager could be extremely intelligent and creative. To make things even more complicated, there are various types of dyslexia – each of which must be handled differently.
What Causes Dyslexia?
Parents should be aware that dyslexia is a condition a child is born with, not a disease. Your child will not outgrow this condition, but a lot can be done to help them cope with it. Research indicates that dyslexia can be traced back to how a person’s brain processes information. When individuals with dyslexia read, they don’t use the same parts of the brain as people who don’t have dyslexia. And while reading, their brains do not process information as efficiently. This is why reading is such painstakingly hard work for them.
What Are the Different Types of Dyslexia?
In order to make treatment more effective, Scientists categorize dyslexia into various subgroups. Knowing about the different types of dyslexia will make it easier for educators to create strategies aimed at the specific needs of a child or teenager. Below we discuss the main types of dyslexia and how they should be approached.
Rapid Naming Dyslexia
This version is also known as visual dyslexia or dyseidetic dyslexia and is one of the two most common forms of dyslexia. The person typically has perfectly normal phonological processing capabilities, but their comprehension and fluency are impacted by the inability to retrieve language-based facts. When presented with numbers, colors, and letters, they might know the names perfectly well, but it takes them unusually long to come up with the right word.
Someone with this type of dyslexia might often say ‘the word is on the tip of my tongue – but it takes quite a while to retrieve that information from the brain.
Signs That Your Child Might Have Rapid Naming Dyslexia
- They have average phonological and word recognition skills
- There is no early history of decoding problems
- Their listening comprehension is typically not so low that it qualifies them for language and speech services
- They have issues with comprehending what they read or hear
- They have fluency problems when reading
Help for Children and Teenagers Who Have Rapid Naming Dyslexia
These children will benefit from instruction that addresses their individual comprehension issues, for example, background knowledge, vocabulary, and pragmatic language. They might also gain from a slow reading strategy that aims to enhance their comprehension and similar types of dyslexia treatment.
This is one of the most common forms of dyslexia. It is often also referred to as auditory dyslexia, verbal dyslexia, or dysphonetic dyslexia because it affects someone’s ability to decipher and sound out words. If your child or teenager has auditory dyslexia (verbal dyslexia), they will find it difficult to process the individual sounds that spoken words are made up of. Someone who has auditory dyslexia (verbal dyslexia) also finds it hard to map phonemes (sounds) to graphemes (written letters). The cause of auditory dyslexia (verbal dyslexia) is believed to be a problem with the neural processing of what someone hears.
Signs That Your Child Might Have Phonological Dyslexia
- Average oral vocabulary and listening skills
- Issues with recognizing words that typically center around decoding words and sounds. The main issue in this type of dyslexia is difficulty with recognizing sounds and finding it hard to form a connection between the letter symbol for a sound, e.g., the ‘b’ in ‘bat’ and the actual sound.
- Reading issues that started early (often around K-3)
- Fluency issues that involve non-automatic or inaccurate word reading
Help for Children and Teenagers Who Have Phonological Dyslexia
The best form of dyslexia treatment for these kids is to teach them phonemic awareness and phonics, i.e., to train them to be aware of speech sounds in words and how certain sounds correspond with certain letters. When it comes to students with phonological dyslexia, the teacher should also practice special activities and use special learning techniques. These students might, e.g., get additional time to finish tests or assignments or be allowed to record class lectures.
Double Deficit Dyslexia
A child or teenager who has this type of dyslexia typically has issues with both identifying the different sounds in words and naming speed. In other words, double deficit dyslexia is a combination of the two types of dyslexia discussed above. It is one of the least common forms of dyslexia and the most difficult one to remediate.
Signs That Your Child Might Have Double Deficit Dyslexia
- Problems started early, e.g., in K-3, and might continue even after remedial training
- In spite of having normal intelligence, he or he has below-average reading skills
- Below-average writing and spelling skills
- Problems with memorizing the correct names for things
- Issues with completing tests and tasks within the allotted time
- Finding it difficult to memorize phone numbers and written lists
- Issues with reading maps or directions
- Finding it hard to tell left from right or down from up
- Issues with studying foreign languages
How to Help Children With Double Deficit Dyslexia
Dyslexia treatment for children who have this form of dyslexia includes what is listed above under both rapid naming and phonological dyslexia. Apart from dyslexia treatment, different techniques are also used to help manage the child’s dyslexia.
Someone who suffers from left-right confusion has problems distinguishing left from right. These people may, for example, have issues with reading maps or following directions. This is often referred to as directional dyslexia, but that is not accurate. Directional dyslexia is not actually a form of dyslexia. It is rather linked to other types of learning issues such as dysgraphia and dyscalculia. People who suffer from ‘directional dyslexia’ sometimes also have learning disabilities that affect social interaction and physical coordination.
This refers to a condition where the person has issues remembering what they just saw on a page. Visual dyslexia, therefore, affects someone’s visual processing. This means the brain does not get the complete picture of what is perceived by the eyes. People with visual dyslexia have problems forming letters or learning how to spell because, in both cases, the brain has to remember the right shape or sequence.
In this case, a person can easily sound out new words but could be unable to recognize familiar words when they see them. The brain is believed to fail to recognize what certain words look like. This kind of dyslexia impacts certain words that have to be memorized because they are pronounced differently from the way they are spelled.
When someone suffers a traumatic disease or injury that affects his or her brain’s ability to process languages, that person might develop acquired dyslexia, also often referred to as trauma dyslexia because the root cause is brain trauma.
Of all the forms of dyslexia, this is the only one that is genetically inherited. When one or both parents have dyslexia, it increases their children’s chances of having the same condition. Dyslexia also seems to be more common among males (particularly left-handed ones) than females.
In this case, neurological development may be impaired because of certain adverse issues in the mother’s womb that cause the child to suffer from what is known as secondary dyslexia.
Final Thoughts on Dyslexia
Dyslexia is a highly complex topic. What we tried to do above is to summarize the most important facts and answer the most frequently asked questions about this condition. We would love to hear whether you think we succeeded or not. Please don’t hesitate to visit our website and contact us from there with any questions or suggestions. And while you are there, feel free to visit the section on parent education or read a few of the blogs.