WHAT CAUSES DYSLEXIA?
The honest answer to this question is, I don't know. Know one knows. All we know is that it is a processing disorder that affects the left side of the brain. Researches say it could be genetic or caused by environmental factors. However, I've seen more patient cases where they have dyslexia and their parents do not, which is why I believe it genetics has a minimal role to do with it. Again, this is all speculation. the good news is there are treatment options available that have worked on thousands of students.
ARE THERE ANY MEDICATIONS FOR DYSLEXIA?
There are NO MEDICATIONS that will help with dyslexia alone. You can't take a pill and magically learn how to read. However, as seen in the COMORBIDITY section, children have other behavioral or attention problems like ADHD along with dyslexia. there are medication for ADHD that could help them focus better and be more successful during dyslexia therapy. If your child is having tantrums or other extreme behavioral or psychological issues(depression, anxiety, violent episodes,etc), I would not recommend medications. I would recommend therapy, it has more lasting effects than medications do.
WHAT'S THE BEST THERAPY FOR DYSLEXIA?
That depends on what works best for your child, and the severity of the dyslexia he or she has. I would start off with the school's therapy, because it's free of cost if you go to a public school. If that doesn't work, there are private dyslexia tutors who have shown results, but they can be a little costly. I have other parent-based therapy techniques on this site in the treatment section if you would like to try them with your child. If you see results, i would continue with them, otherwise of I would speak with your neuropsychologist or school's dyslexia therapist about treatment options. Again, everyone finds a treatment plan that works, just be patient and never lose hope!
DOES MY CHILD NEED TO BE HELD BACK A GRADE BECAUSE OF DYSLEXIA?
The ideal grades to be held back is anywhere between K-2. After that, repeating a year can be a very difficult thing for your child that could lead to reduced self esteem. We don't want that. Therefore, if your child has mild dyslexia, regardless of what grade their in, I would recommend them moving on to the next grade as normal. With the right therapy from outside sources and the school, they will quickly catch up to their peers. However, if your child has moderate to severe dyslexia, I would recommend holding them back if they are in grades (K-2). This will give you, the parent, time to reinforce their foundational reading and math skills so they are prepared for the rigor of third and fourth grade. If they are in grade 3 or higher, you need to CONSULT YOUR CHILD before making decision. Ask them if they would be willing to repeat a grade, and let them know it's only because they need to get their reading skills back on track. If they are against the idea, and they have managed to pass their classes, I would not hold them back, but would give them extensive therapy to keep up with the higher grade level. If your child is unable to pass their current grade, gently let them know staying back a grade is in their best interest. If the situation is more complex, as it tends to be, please feel free to CONTACT US and we will give the best advise we can!
DO I TELL MY CHILD THAT THEY HAVE DYSLEXIA?
It is better if the child is aware of the fact that they have dyslexia. As contradictory as this sound, it will actually boost their morale and confidence. Attributing their struggles in school to dyslexia will relieve some of their pressure. They'll stop blaming their own intelligence for the struggles they're facing in school. the problem is how the child will handle the news after receiving it. You as a parent need to ensure they do not use dyslexia as an excuse to slack of or not try on homework assignments. Most students try harder than they used because there is an explanation for their delayed reading and with the right treatment overcome dyslexia.
WHAT IS THE CURE FOR DYSLEXIA
There is currently no "cure". However, there are student based therapy options available to help students with dyslexia learn. See these options in the treatment section. HOWEVER, if your child has a co-occurring behavioral diagnosis such as ADHD, anxiety, or depression, ask your psychiatrist about medications your child can use to relieve some of these symptoms. personally, I would recommend therapy based treatment for anxiety or depression rather than medication, however using medication is common for students with ADHD and can be effective.
HOW CAN I ENCOURAGE MY CHILD TO DO BETTER WHEN HE OR SHE IS BEHIND
Firstly, after letting your child know they have dyslexia, let them they have a high IQ regardless of what the real number is. The will give them a boost of confidence that they are intelligent and will strive to do well and overcome dyslexia. They'll feel more motivated to try to learn if they believe they have the capacity to do so. In fact, while there has been no proven correlation between the two, I've noticed above average to extraordinary intelligence in children with dyslexia. If they are still struggling, show them the video explaining their dyslexia on this website!
ARE THERE ANY OTHER READING DISABILITIES OTHER THAN DYSLEXIA?
Yes. The other common reading disorders are reading comprehension disorder, reading fluency disorder, etc. I do not want to confuse you by going in depth about the related disorders as they are more rare, I would recommend consulting a neuropsychologist to truly determine whether your child has dyslexia or a related disorder.