We all know that if we catch a problem early it's easier to solve. That check engine light in your car might save you from costly repairs.
Dyslexia is no different. Catch it early and you will have far fewer problems.
Modern science has been working on developing early screening for dyslexia for decades now. Those scientists have made strides but they are not quite there yet. Early testing is not yet efficient or all that available.
The good news is that parents often see the signs early on, and those who do something about it early get easier and faster results. Catch it in the early developmental years and you’re ahead of the game.
In this video we cover some of the surprising early signs. While individually these signs most likely don’t mean anything at all, if you do see a lot of them, you might take note and maybe investigate a little further. So pay attention.
Hi, I’m Liz Weaver of Learning Success. Our team makes these videos to help parents of struggling learners navigate the sometimes confusing path of helping their child become a skilled learner. Because getting that right changes everything for your child’s future.
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So let's get to those signs shall we?
#1 Lack of crawling
It’s great to be proud when your child takes their first steps but if this happens too soon they may be missing out on developmental stages necessary for proper brain development. Children go through stages of crawling and then walking. Cross lateral motions are important for development of the corpus callosum. The large bundle of nerves that connects the two hemispheres of the brain. Strengthening the corpus callosum integrates the hemispheres. Since our brain has regions on both sides that contribute to a task this integration is important.
When a baby misses out on the development of these skills through crawling there is a possibility that brain integration does not happen as strongly.
Crawling develops visual spatial skills and these are a big part of all learning.
It’s also been shown that development of complex motor skills is related to the development of working memory. The biggest component of intelligence..
Additionally, Visual processing and binocular vision are developed as a baby constantly looks up to see where they want to go and then looks at their hands.
It’s certainly not something to worry about if your child didn’t crawl much. There are many ways in which these cross lateral motor skills are developed. And many ways in which these skills can be developed later in life. As a matter of fact we should all be learning new motor skills throughout life to ensure we maintain a healthy brain. Lack of crawling is just a clue that you may want to pay attention to.
#2 Difficulty Learning to tie shoes
If a child has a difficulty in learning to tie shoes, this may signify a weakness in spatial skills and or fine motor skills. Both are required for tying shoes and weaknesses in these areas are signs of visual dyslexia.
So don’t opt for the slip ons. Use shoe tying to help with these skills. Practicing skills develops them. Every little bit helps.
#3 Late Talking
Phonological dyslexia is a difficulty with sounds. Someone with phonological dyslexia may have challenges discriminating between different sounds. They may have difficulty with auditory closure. Or they may have difficulty with auditory memory. This makes it difficult to pull the sounds out of words and that will cause difficulty in learning to speak. It will also give trouble in as they learn to read. Another related thing to look for is vocabulary. A child with dyslexia may have a smaller vocabulary than is expected for their age or may regularly confuse words.
#4 Confusing left and right
This is also a sign of a difficulty in visual-spatial skills. Visual spatial skills are at the core of all learning. Each of our senses are integrated through the visual-spatial sense. In other words we detect the distance and direction we hear, see, or feel things at and put this all together to form a bigger picture. When visual-spatial skills are weak we have trouble forming that bigger picture. And we will have trouble formulating a bigger mental picture in a holistic way as well. In other words, we can’t think as well using all of the thinking processes together. We may have strengths in auditory thinking and weaknesses in visual thinking or vice versa. And what we really want is to be strong in an integrated way.
#5 Difficulty Rhyming
There’s a reason playground games focus on rhyming. Rhyming is very developmental for our auditory skills. Children love rhyming games. Which points to a weird fact. Most of the time children are drawn to the developmental strategies they need. Like bees are drawn to flowers. You find all of the developmental strategies in playground games. Or at least you used to. Rhyming develops our auditory cognitive micro-skills. Hopscotch develops cross lateral motor skills. Cats cradle develops spatial skills and fine motor skills. And jungle gyms, well those are an amazing motor skill problem solving game. The playgrounds we had as kids were actually developmental brain gyms. Unfortunately modern day kids don’t always get those exercises. So we have to find ways of adding them back in.
#6 Difficulty learning the Alphabet
The alphabet is one of the first nursery rhymes a child learns. Since it is dependent on the auditory cognitive skills such as auditory closure, auditory discrimination, and auditory memory, these problems may show up here first. So pro-tip. Help your child learn as many nursery rhymes as possible. They are developmentally powerful. And double pro-tip. When you do nursery rhymes with physical games you increase brain development even more because you are developing the auditory and the visual-spatial together. Remember all the jump rope songs? Yes, those were developing strong minds.
7. Speech difficulties
Speech difficulties may be a sign of phonological dyslexia. Especially if they mispronounce a lot of words. Pasgetti is the common example. While it may be fun to play with these mispronunciations it's usually best to encourage and work on proper pronunciations. You may also hear word substitutions. Like pacific and specific.
8. Difficulty writing their name
This pops up early because their name is usually the first word they learn to write. And a difficulty writing their name may signify challenges in fine motor skills or in phonetic difficulties.
Now if their name is something like Hubert Blaine Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff Sr then you might want to cut them some slack.
9 Difficulty with other fine motor skills – Children with dyslexia may have difficulty with some fine motor skills. So watch for difficulty in things like coloring, buttoning their shirt, or using zippers.
And #10. Exceptional creativity or personality
Dyslexic children often develop strengths as well. Difficulty in one area will cause them to develop strengths in other areas. These strengths can be creative strengths such as in art or architecture. Are they incredible at legos or minecraft? These children might also develop incredible interpersonal skills such as humor. They often learn to think in ways that other people don’t.
Many dyslexics go on to capitalize on these strengths. Becoming successful entrepreneurs, musicians, architects, or a wide variety of other professions.
This is why we say at Learning Success to
Embrace your child’s brilliance and you will unleash their potential.
If you work on building up their confidence so they are willing to take risks and learn new things. And you help them strengthen their weaknesses while at the same time building on their strengths you will have an unstoppable child that is sure to go on to do wonderful things in the world.
That’s exactly what we designed the Learning Success System to do. If you suspect your child may have a learning struggle or you just want to cover all the bases and develop their learning skills then grab your copy of the Learning Success System. Right now you can get a free trial by clicking the link in the description. Sign up and then I’ll see you inside the members area.
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