Does Saying 'Gog' for 'Dog' Mean My Child has Dyslexia?
There isn’t really a short and straight answer to this, either yes or no but a bit of a ‘maybe, depending on….’ which I guess makes it frustrating for parents. Let me explain my ‘maybe, depending on…..’ stance and what it all depends on.
How old is your child?
A lot of young children make mistakes when they are 3-5 years old, hence we get endearing nicknames for members of the family, or we can embarrass them later in life with the fact that they called dogs ‘gogs’ for a while! However, some of my dyslexic learners do muddle up sounds in words when they talk, even some of the teenagers.
Do they display the more recognised signs of dyslexia?
At primary school age this can include not being able to give simple rhyming words, not knowing the start sounds of words or being able to identify end and middle sounds. They may be struggling with picking up reading skills, perhaps not recognising letters of the alphabet or knowing the sounds for individual letters of the alphabet. They may not be able to clap or march in a rhythm. Anecdotally, some children who are assessed with dyslexia and other learning difficulties were more advanced in some skills than is normal for that age, for example being an early talker or walker.
Does any close relative in the family have dyslexia ( or suspected as having dyslexia)?
Dyslexia can run in families, although why this is the case is disputed. If a close relative has been assessed as having dyslexia then you need to keep this in mind and watch out for any developing problems. You could , of course, just start your child on a dyslexia programme straight away so that they never fall behind.
Has your child been identified as having speech and language problems? This is another early indicator that your child may have dyslexia. As with the point above, you could just start following a dyslexia programme for reading with your child so that, again, they don’t fall behind at school.
Has your child suffered from bouts of deafness (from recurrent ear infections or glue ear)? This will really affect how they have heard speech sounds during their ‘deaf’ periods and therefore affects how they pick up reading skills early on at school. Glue ear is well known to cause on going issues with picking up reading skills, so if your child has suffered with this then it is worthwhile starting on a dyslexia programme to help them pick up these skills from the start.
This is not an exhaustive list but some of the key players in whether or not your child has dyslexia. So in answer to my initial question, you need to dig a little deeper and look at other skills your child may or may not be struggling with; examine their medical history and finally look into your family history.
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