Do you suspect that your child has dyslexia-related learning difficulties? Before taking them to a ...
Should My Child Be Tested For Dyslexia?
Does your child struggle to sound out words? And despite how intelligent they are, is your child behind their peers in key skills like reading and writing? If this is the case, they might have dyslexia.
In this article, we unpack why testing your child for dyslexia is crucial to helping them overcome their learning difficulties. But first, let’s explore what dyslexia can look like in children.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Dyslexia?
While dyslexia affects everyone differently, children with dyslexia typically struggle to decipher words, leading to difficulties with reading, writing, spelling, and pronouncing words.
Signs of dyslexia can appear before a child enters school. These symptoms usually become most obvious when children learn to read and write. Importantly, people can experience dyslexia in one language and not in another. Chinese dyslexia, for example, is common among Singaporean children.
As the signs of dyslexia can change as children get older, here are common symptoms to look out for in different age groups.
Signs of dyslexia among preschool children
- Late talking
- Mispronouncing familiar words and trouble learning new words
- Struggles naming numbers, colours and letters
- Difficulty learning nursery rhymes
Signs of dyslexia for kindergarten students
- Does not associate sounds with letters
- Struggles to understand that words come apart
- Trouble in finding the right word
- Their reading level is below what is expected for their age
Signs of dyslexia for primary and high school students
- Reading and writing is slow and can lead to personal frustration
- They need extra time to answer questions
- They avoid reading out loud
- Inability to pronounce unfamiliar words
- Their essays have many spelling errors
Why Test for Dyslexia
In Singapore, dyslexia is so common that up to 10% of people have the condition — according to the Ministry of Education. In fact, many children go through school with undiagnosed dyslexia. Their learning issues are often attributed to laziness or being prone to distraction.
While children with dyslexia can attend mainstream schools, they need extra help to overcome their challenges. Without this support, children with dyslexia can develop low self-esteem and acute anxiety, as a study by University College London has discovered.
Testing your child for dyslexia is critical in preventing these emotional and academic issues. Another reason to seek a diagnosis is to eliminate the learning gap between your child and their peers. The longer you go without a diagnosis, the larger this gap can grow. This can mean that your child continues to fall behind their peers, adding to their stress and possibly leading to a lifelong disinterest in learning.
But once your child is tested, you’ll have the answers you need to pursue a solution that targets dyslexia-related learning difficulties. Early intervention programmes, for example, use proven teaching methods to unlock the learning potential of children with dyslexia.
Where to Get a Dyslexia Test for Your ChilD
To get the most accurate diagnosis, take your child to a qualified educational specialist. In Singapore, you can access a specialist by booking an appointment at private facilities and specialised learning centres.
Of course, some of the symptoms of dyslexia can resemble other learning conditions. According to the latest Ministry of Health report, 5,000 preschoolers were diagnosed with developmental delays last year. This is double the number of children diagnosed with learning conditions in 2010. Considering the prevalence of other conditions, there’s always a chance that your child’s learning challenges are unrelated to dyslexia.
In these cases, testing your child with educational specialists has added benefits. As these specialists are experts in a range of learning conditions, they should be equipped to help you pinpoint the root of your child’s learning difficulties. At Thomson Kids, our dyslexia assessment experts are as well versed in other learning conditions that impact reading, writing and speech.
The Next Step: Testing Your Child for Dyslexia
Intervention is key in helping your child overcome their learning difficulties. If you suspect your child has dyslexia, that means seeking an expert assessment as soon as possible. After receiving a diagnosis, you’ll be in an excellent position to source tailored learning solutions.
Want to learn more about teaching for dyslexia?
We’ve written a guide that highlights how early learning interventions help to unlock the learning potential of children with dyslexia. Our guide also shares what to look for when choosing between early intervention programmes. Read The Singaporean Parents' Guide to Early Dyslexia Learning Interventions.