October is Dyslexia Awareness Month – do you know the signs in preschoolers?
Dyslexia is a persistent challenge with acquiring and using written language most commonly diagnosed in school-age children, with both early childhood educators and primary school teachers being vital in providing early learning pathways for children living with dyslexia.
October is Dyslexia Awareness Month, and the Australian Dyslexia Association (ADA) has shared information in the lead up to support those in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector to increase awareness of dyslexia, and common signs of dyslexia which may be observed in preschool aged children.
The following difficulties may be associated with dyslexia in preschoolers if they are unexpected for the individual’s age, educational level, or cognitive abilities. To verify that an individual is dyslexic, he/she should be tested by a qualified testing examiner.
- May talk later than most children
- May have difficulty pronouncing words, i.e., busgetti for spaghetti, mawn lower for lawn mower
- May be slow to add new vocabulary words
- May be unable to recall the right word
- May have difficulty with rhyming
- May have trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, colours, shapes, how to spell and write his or her name
- May have trouble interacting with peers
- May be unable to follow multi-step directions or routines
- Fine motor skills may develop more slowly than in other children
- May have difficulty telling and/or retelling a story in the correct sequence
- Often has difficulty separating sounds in words and blending sounds to make words
Dyslexia, the ADA said, is estimated to affect 10 percent of the Australian population.
Ideas for acknowledging Dyslexia Awareness Month
During Dyslexia Awareness Month, ECEC professionals are encouraged to “spread the word” about ways to support people living with dyslexia, by sharing their stories and planning activities that support their learning.
“Talking about dyslexia helps,” an ADA spokesperson said.
“Have you helped someone living with dyslexia? What did you do that made a difference? Can you recount their achievements and successes for others?”