Video: Dyslexia Insights from a Young Man and a Psychologist

Last updated on January 27th, 2016 at 11:23 am

Dyslexia is a common type of learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in the reading and spelling of words. In this video, Daniel tells his story and an expert gives advice on symptoms, causes and treatment approaches.

Editor’s Note: Video Highlights

Daniel’s perspective: Daniel is a college student and was recently diagnosed with dyslexia

  • Girl point finger at lettersDaniel’s dyslexia issue is processing speed and short term memory
  • He found math hard in school and it was difficult to first learn new things – so he was often left behind
  • Once he was diagnosed, some advice and support helped him:
    • He was given a keyboard to take into lectures, since he could type faster than writing by hand
    • For reading, he got advice to read several words at once – rather than each individual word – it was tiring him out to read before
  • Daniel says he has a terrible short term member but a great long-term memory – if he learns something very carefully, he will always remember it – so he can build off this strength
  • It was easier after he was diagnosed: “I felt like, actually there Is something that is causing it, so I could find ways to help myself then.”
  • “It was far more useful knowing I had dyslexia rather than just struggling and not knowing why.”

Expert perspective: Dr. David McLoughlin is a psychologist who treats children with dyslexia in his practice

  • Dyslexia is a problem with the language-processing area of the brain which impacts on reading and spelling
  • However, it also impacts a broader range of tasks – such as time management, organization and planning – so rather than just a memory or processing issue, it’s a much bigger syndrome
  • Dyslexia runs in families – we know this from twin studies, research and clinical practice
  • The standard diagnosis process includes measurement of the general ability – and then looking at whether achievements in reading, writing, spelling or math are inconsistent with the child’s general level of functioning
    • They then look at factors in the testing – like memory or processing skills – that might explain any differences
  • General advice for parents of a child with dyslexia:
    • Get them to read – but don’t over-correct them
    • Expect them to forget – reward them for remembering
    • As they get older self-understanding becomes very important
  • The reassuring thing is that if children are properly understood and have the opportunity to develop skills and alternative techniques – they can pursue whatever they are capable of
    • They just have to do things differently

About the Author

NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk) is the UK’s biggest health website. It provides a comprehensive health information service to help put you in control of your healthcare.

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