Thursday, September 13, 2007


DS1 is now almost eight and a half. I've noticed that he has some difficulties with his reading that are not of the kind that is "common" in early development of reading. This has put a lot of stress in our lives lately (together with my fears of failure and the fact that #6 will be here in a weeks' time or so...)
I'm reading up on dyslexia, trying to get a temporary diagnosis and to find possible solutions to help him. But, as I already knew, the definitions are all different from organisation to organisation and very much debated:
The World Health Organization (WHO) and World Federation of Neurology
A disorder manifested by difficulty learning to read, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence and sociocultural opportunity. It is dependent upon fundamental cognitive disabilities which are frequently of constitutional origin.
– ICD-10, The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, tenth revision ICIDH-2, The International Classification of Impairments, Activities, and Participation
The British Dyslexia Association
Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty which is neurobiological in origin and persists across the lifespan. It is characterised by difficulties with phonological processing, rapid naming, working memory, processing speed and the automatic development of skills that are unexpected in relation to an individual’s other cognitive abilities.
International Dyslexia Association
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and / or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
Dyslexia Association of Singapore
Dyslexia is a neurologically based specific learning difficulty that is characterised by difficulties in one or more of reading, spelling and writing. Accompanying weaknesses may be identified in areas of language acquisition, phonological processing, working memory, and sequencing. Some factors that are associated with, but do not cause, dyslexia are poor motivation, impaired attention and academic frustration.
Canadian Government
The Government of Canada’s Health Portal links its description to the BC HealthGuide web site using their definition.
Dyslexia is a common learning disability that hinders the development of reading skills. Reading is not a natural human act; it has to be learned. Having dyslexia does not mean that you or your child has difficulty learning subjects other than reading or is below average in intelligence. In fact, many people with dyslexia are above average in intelligence. However, not being able to read fluently or quickly can make many areas of learning more challenging.

There is a lot to read in Wikipedia's articles and other sites on the 'net. My son has difficulties, but the question is whether they amount to dyslexia or not.
"Auditory processing disorder is recognized as one of the major causes of dyslexia", this does not fit on my son at all, he talked early and is very good at memorising sounds, he is definately an auditive learner. Reading through the rest of the Variations and related conditions in the Wikipedia article, makes me even more sceptic. He doesn't have any of those problems except maybe the last two to some degree, wAllahu a'lam. He has concentration issues (what boy doesn't?), but the reason why I'm looking into this is his constant failure to read letters in the right order, he often replaces them and mix resembling letters (which is common for 5-6 year olds, and he's already been through that stage, or at least so I thought. I've never heard of this phenomena re-appearing after some years?!). Inshaa Allah, it's just a developmental thing and he'll come out of it, or it's just symptoms of a "lighter condition". I have noticed some of our family members have similar problems with reading and writing (they are adults, two in my family and I'm also seeing it in my husband).

Dyslexia is "separate and distinct from reading difficulties resulting from other causes, such as deficiencies in intelligence, non-neurological deficiency with vision or hearing, or from poor or inadequate reading instruction." Misplacing letters and not seeing all letters in a word can't have anything to do with inadequate reading instruction, though. So the problem is deeper and I'll have to keep searching (and struggling), I suppose. Khayran inshaa Allah. May Allah make it easy for us and may He instill love for reading in my son, ameen.


Karen Lynn said...

Hi, my name is Karen. I not only have dyslexia, but Cerebral Palsy! I want to reasure you to follow your own heart and instects with your child. I went through 12 of school in a handicap school, being passed from one class to another never really comprehending enough to learn a thing. But I am hear to share that there is hope for you.

Its all in one's own attitude and determination, as I won the first Civil Right's Case in Ca. under The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, in 1980, I also became a fitness instructor for my own kind, a published author too! Furthermore, I am a motivational speaker and have my own website, which I invite you to visit at:

If I can be of any strength and support to you, please do not hesitate to reach out.

It is in the caring hand of others that we find our support and the ability to move on:>))))))

with much warmth,

hayesatlbch said...

Your description sounds as if your son has visual dyslexia. Visual problems that make reading difficult can be removed with See Right Dyslexia Glasses.

Ask him is the letters and words on the page are clear,stable,focused and uniform.

Dyslexics his age will often be able to describe a visual problem if their parents ask about howthey see the page.

More information on visual dyslexia at

bizziWEAHM said...

Thank you Karen for your words of encouragement.

And thank you John Hayes, too. I've read through your web site, and what you describe as "visual dyslexia" is very interesting.