Signs of possible dyslexia
- In kindergarten, your child still distorts many words: he often reverses the order of letters or syllables, he omits certain sounds, adds others.
- In kindergarten, he does not know how to cut words into syllables: for example, say a-bri-cot, clapping his hands three times.
- At Christmas in CP, your child is behind the other students in the class in learning to read.
- At CP Christmas, your child still confuses certain letters of similar or phonetically close shapes, for example he reads “piton” instead of “can”.
- You, your partner or another of your children is dyslexic.
- If you give him three instructions to carry out one after the other, your child forgets some along the way.
- Since he entered CP, he no longer likes school, loses interest in reading.
- He sees well, he hears well: you have had his vision and hearing checked by a doctor.
- Despite the passing months, his reading remains hesitant, choppy, even incomprehensible.
- He confuses left and right, above and below.
- He can’t find his way around the days of the week.
- The teachers reproach him for being careless, for not working hard enough.
- He is more successful in speaking than in writing, he has poor spelling, does not master the rules of grammar.
- He is often very tired after his school days
Advice from Monique Touzin, speech therapist
Explanations and advice from Monique Touzin
This listing is obviously not intended to establish a diagnosis. It is simply intended to alert you to certain signs frequently present in dyslexic children.
What is dyslexia?
Monique Touzin : this is a specific reading learning disorder: it does not affect the child’s other skills and is not the consequence of an intellectual disability. It results in a lasting difficulty in understanding the systems for transforming letters into sounds and for assembling sounds together. Researchers believe that this disorder is due to a minor cerebral dysfunction: the brain of a dyslexic person does not process auditory information quite correctly. The genetic hypothesis is also widely retained, without a single gene having been isolated. Dyslexia is not acquired because of an illness or any other event: the child is born with it, as he is born with blue eyes or brown hair!
How to get a diagnosis?
Monique Touzin:The diagnosis must be made at the right time, that is to say neither too early nor too late. Dyslexia is only revealed when learning to read, so there is no need to start the process from kindergarten, even if certain warning signs can already encourage close attention. On the other hand, if at the end of the first trimester of first grade a child is notoriously behind his classmates in learning to read and continues to confuse sounds and letters, it is important to speak to the pediatrician or general practitioner. This one, thanks to a medical check-up, will be able to eliminate other causes: a problem of sight or hearing, a global delay with in particular difficulties on the motor plan, a neurological concern. Once these assumptions are ruled out, he will be able to write a prescription for a speech therapy assessment with rehabilitation if necessary. The speech therapist has tests, calibrated by age and class, which allow him to make a diagnosis of dyslexia. If in doubt, it would be a shame to wait until CE1 or CE2 to have a child diagnosed and begin rehabilitation: if they do not master reading well, they will find themselves in difficulty in all subjects and can very quickly be caught up in negative spiral of school failure. But of course, it is never too late to act and there is no age at which the child would no longer be “recoverable”. it would be a shame to wait until CE1 or CE2 to have a child diagnosed and begin rehabilitation: if he does not master reading well, he will find himself in difficulty in all subjects and can very quickly be caught up in the negative spiral of school failure. But of course, it is never too late to act and there is no age at which the child would no longer be “recoverable”. it would be a shame to wait until CE1 or CE2 to have a child diagnosed and begin rehabilitation: if he does not master reading well, he will find himself in difficulty in all subjects and can very quickly be caught up in the negative spiral of school failure. But of course, it is never too late to act and there is no age at which the child would no longer be “recoverable”.
What does rehabilitation consist of?
Monique Touzin:With the speech therapist, the child will train through different games to become more aware of sounds and differentiate them. The same goes for letters that look alike but have a different meaning depending on their orientation in space: p and q, b and d, u and n. He will also strengthen his working memory (in the very short term) which he lacks: he tends to forget the first syllable of a word he is reading when he reaches the third. It is in fact a question of allowing the dyslexic child to acquire “crutches” or compensation strategies. For example, since he cannot distinguish sounds well through hearing, the speech therapist offers him other methods: to feel them in his body by feeling the vibrations of his vocal cords, to draw them, to mime them. Until the child finds the way that suits him best. It is wise not to plan rehabilitation sessions with the speech therapist after the school day: the child, too tired, will not derive the expected benefits. After agreement with the school, it is better to set them on school time. Rehabilitation sessions are reimbursed at 60% by Social Security, the mutual insurance company being able to cover all or part of the remaining 40%.
How long does rehabilitation last?
Monique Touzin:Rehabilitation lasts at least two years, at the rate of two sessions per week at least in the early stages. Thus, the child feels really supported and accompanied in learning to read, he is less discouraged and can catch up. The earlier rehabilitation begins, the shorter it takes. It ends when the child has acquired enough autonomy in reading, that is to say a sufficiently easy deciphering allowing him to access the meaning of what he reads, even if he keeps a certain slowness. . During schooling, certain classes at stake such as the sixth, the third with the patent, the second, the final with the baccalaureate, may require the resumption of a few re-education sessions in support. If the priority is for the dyslexic child to learn to read, you should know that it will have spelling consequences and will probably be dysorthographic: the French language is complex, many silent letters in the words make written transcription difficult. We never cure dyslexia but we learn to compensate for the difficulties it causes, in particular thanks to the computer tool. Dyslexics can perfectly succeed in higher education and even benefit from accommodations during exams.
What if it doesn’t work?
Monique Touzin : If the parents find that their child is not making any progress despite rehabilitation, this may mean that other care is needed. For example psychological care: he may be in such pain that he cannot progress. It is also possible that the diagnosis is not correct, that this child suffers from another associated disorder. At that time, it is recommended to contact a CRTLA (Referral center for language and learning disorders), reserved for complex cases and offering a complete technical platform, with a multidisciplinary approach.
What facilities should you ask for at school?
Monique Touzin:For good care of their dyslexic child, parents cannot do without a partnership with the school. If they do not know how to approach the question, they can ask the speech therapist for help: although this professional is bound by professional secrecy, he can, with their agreement, contact the teacher in order to suggest some possible arrangements. For example, do not have the child read in front of the whole class. Read the instructions aloud to him. Give him extra time during checks. Give him fill-in-the-blank dictations. Write text in large print. Reduce evening homework. Parents can also ask the school to set up a PAP (Personalized Support Plan) which will list these educational arrangements in black and white.
At home, how to support your child?
Monique Touzin:A dyslexic child often suffers from a strong underesteem of him: he may make enormous efforts, he does not succeed in learning to read like the others. He thinks he is worthless and worthless. For their part, his parents are very anxious about his academic future and transmit their own anxieties to him. And sometimes, unconsciously, they are disappointed that their child is carrying this disorder and not up to the ambitions of success they had for him. A potentially explosive situation that is not conducive to the development of children and their progress! Parents are not their child’s re-educators – the speech therapist is there for that – and they must try not to turn evening homework into trying times for everyone. It is better that they take care of it as little as possible – even if it means leaving their child to study or delegating this task to a student – and rather find pleasant activities to share with him, in which he succeeds. They will thus be able to focus on enhancing all his other talents and restoring his self-confidence.
Isabelle Gravillon for Our Family
Loving reading despite DYS difficulties For “dys” children, reading is more complicated. Since 2018, the J’aime Lire DYS collection has offered a series of digital books offering specific features to facilitate reading: change of font, highlighting of syllables, audio support, definitions… The books have been tested by speech therapists and produced in collaboration with Mobidys. The child reader has about fifteen parameters to customize the display of the text. He tries them all to find the format that will allow him the most pleasant reading for him.