By: Red Door Pediatric Staff
Dyslexia is a common learning disorder that affects an individual’s ability to read, write, and spell. While reading is often the primary area of difficulty, it can also impact math skills. In this article, we will discuss how dyslexia affects reading and math skills and what the testing process looks like for dyslexia.
How Dyslexia Affects Reading Skills
Dyslexia affects reading skills in a variety of ways. People with dyslexia may have difficulty recognizing words quickly and accurately, making it challenging to read fluently. They may also struggle to sound out words and decode unfamiliar words. Additionally, individuals with dyslexia may have trouble with spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
It’s important to note that dyslexia is not related to intelligence, and people with it can have average or above-average intelligence. However, because of the difficulties, they experience with reading, they may struggle in academic subjects that require reading comprehension, such as science, social studies, and language arts.
How Dyslexia Affects Math Skills
Dyslexia can also affect math skills, particularly in the areas of problem-solving and understanding mathematical language. People with it may struggle to understand mathematical concepts and apply them to real-world situations. They may also have difficulty remembering math facts, such as multiplication tables, which can make it harder for them to perform calculations quickly and accurately.
Because math and reading skills are interconnected, dyslexia can make it harder for individuals to understand word problems and math textbooks, which often use complex language and sentence structure.
Testing for Dyslexia
If you suspect that you or your child may have dyslexia, it’s important to get a professional evaluation. The testing process for dyslexia typically involves a comprehensive evaluation by a licensed psychologist, speech-language pathologist, or other qualified professional. Many times occupational therapists can also contribute valuable information if dyslexia affects daily living skills such as attention, executive functioning, emotional and social functioning, or visual perception and visual motor skills.
During the evaluation, the professional will assess the individual’s reading and writing abilities, as well as their academic performance. They may also conduct standardized tests and use specialized assessments designed to identify dyslexia.
The evaluation may include:
- Interviews with the individual and their parents or guardians to gather information about their history, academic performance, and any previous evaluations.
- Standardized tests of reading and writing abilities.
- Cognitive and academic assessments to evaluate memory, attention, and other skills that can impact reading and writing abilities.
- Specialized assessments designed to identify dyslexia, such as the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing or the Test of Word Reading Efficiency.
- Observation of the individual’s reading and writing abilities in a variety of settings, such as in the classroom or during a tutoring session.
Dyslexia can have a significant impact on reading and math skills. While it’s primarily a reading disorder, it can also affect math skills, particularly in the areas of problem-solving and understanding mathematical language. If you suspect that you or your child may have dyslexia, it’s important to get a professional evaluation. The testing process can be comprehensive and involve a range of assessments, but it’s an essential step in getting the support and accommodations necessary to succeed in academics and other areas of life. The therapy team in Grand Forks utilizes a well-rounded approach to looking at all factors that may affect learning. Each of the Red Door teams works to incorporate a detailed evaluation to help you share your child’s unique learning style with those who interact with your child (such as teachers, tutors, grandparents, etc.)