DYSLEXIA & LEARNING DIFFICULTIES

What is Dyslexia or Learning Difficulties?

Dyslexia refers to a general cluster of symptoms around reading, writing, spelling and learning difficulties. Some people with dyslexia will also have sensory processing issues and motor delays.

Generally:

• Appears bright, intelligent and articulate but is unable to read, write or spell at grade level.
• Labelled lazy, dumb, careless, immature, “not trying hard enough”, or “behaviour problem”.
• Isn’t “behind enough” or “bad enough” to be helped in the school setting.
• High in IQ, tests well orally but not in written form.
• Feels dumb, poor self-esteem; covers up weaknesses with compensatory strategies; easily frustrated and emotional about school reading or testing.
• Talented in art, drama, music, sports, mechanics, storytelling, sales, business, designing, building or engineering.
• Seems to “zone-out” or daydream often; gets lost easily or loses track of time.
• Difficulty sustaining attention; seems “hyper”.
• Learns best through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation and visual aids.
Memory and Cognition
• Excellent long-term memory for experiences, locations and faces.
• Poor memory for sequences, facts and information that has not been experienced.
• Thinks primarily with images and feelings, not sounds or words (little internal dialogue)

Behaviour, Health, Development, Personality:

• Extremely disorderly or compulsively orderly.
• Can be class clown, troublemaker or too quiet.
• Had unusually early or late developmental stages (talking, walking, crawling, tying shoelaces)
• Prone to ear infections, sensitive to foods, additives and chemical products.

What approach does Kids Matters Occupational Therapy offer for Dyslexia and Learning Difficulties?

Full assessment of child’s individual differences in sensory processing, reading, writing, spelling, learning, motor skills, play, organization and planning etc. Therapy then progresses according to the child’s specific challenges and the family’s goals for treatment.

In general, we will address the following:

• Regulation – helping children learn to calm themselves when overloaded, vs. getting “stuck” and feeling “dumb “.
• Correcting any issues with the physical aspects of handwriting.
• Working on rhythm and timing games while they are verbally thinking and expressing themselves so they can learn to move while thinking.
• Working on getting ideas and brainstorming
• Working on categorization and sequencing ideas so they make sense
• Teaching memory strategies for spelling and maths
• Putting all the above skills together in writing tasks.

Advanced programs such as Interactive Metronome and Cogmed may be very useful here.

We also work with Adults who have dyslexia and learning difficulties.

Useful Links include Dyslexia Qld and SPELD.