A. There is no way to know at this age whether your daughter will develop symptoms of dyslexia. Although there may be a genetic influence, dyslexia is similar to any other mental aptitude or ability (or weakness). Your daughter may or may not have inherited the tendency to develop dyslexia, but even if she has this tendency, she may never actually have problems usually associated with dyslexia.
Fannie Flagg (Author of "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe").
, Children's Author and Illustrator.
(author of mystery novels)
, author of Big Trout.
Researchers who have studied identical twins with reading disabilities have found about a 50% correlation among the twins - that is, if one twin has a reading problem, the other twin will have a reading problem only about half the time. From this, they believe that reading disabilities are about half due to heredity, half due to other factors (environment, individual experiences, education, upbringing, etc.)
I highly recommend that parents of small children read by Dr. Jane Healy. This book has excellent information and advice about your child's mental development, and how to build reading readiness skills in early childhood. This is not a book about dyslexia or other disorders. Rather, it is a wonderful book about child-rearing, focusing on how to help your child learn at all ages, from birth through adolescence.
If you are particularly concerned about dyslexia, describes some of the signs of dyslexia in toddlers and pre-school children. It is important to be alert to your child's strengths as well as areas of weakness; many dyslexic children show early aptitudes for visual-spatial tasks, such as working with puzzles, building blocks, or taking things apart. Of course, not every child with these skills will turn out to be dyslexic.
If you do suspect that your child is potentially dyslexic at a very young age, you will want to find out more about how dyslexic children think and learn best. Understanding your child's learning style will help you in choosing pre-school and school settings that are geared toward her needs.
Abigail Marshall, DDAI
Q. Can someone have dyslexia without reading problems? [November 23, 1998]
Can someone have dyslexia without reading problems? I am an avid reader. I never did well in English Composition class and I don't spell very well. I have always described my short-term memory as mirror (I reverse numbers, etc). My long term memory is very good, however. Even though I have found no major problems with my "strange" way of thinking, it would help explain things about myself.
M.B., via email.
A. The symptoms you describe are consistent with dyslexia. Ron Davis refers to dyslexia as a 'self-created' condition. By that he does not mean that it is a person's fault that they have dyslexia, but rather that the particular symptoms stem from an individual's life experiences. Many dyslexic people are, in fact, very good readers, but struggle tremendously with