Understanding Dyslexia: What Those in Early Childhood Assistant Training Should Know

With one in five children having dyslexia, it’s important for future childcare assistants to understand what dyslexia is, how it impacts children, and the steps you can take to help these children reach their full potential.

In fact, dyslexia is the most common learning disability in children, affecting 80 to 90 percent of kids with learning disorders. However, despite these high statistics, dyslexia diagnosis often goes unnoticed in early childhood, with reading struggles incorrectly attributed to other factors. 

As an early childcare assistant, you have the unique opportunity to both identify signs of dyslexia and help children overcome these difficulties. Read on to learn how you can help children with dyslexia in your future career.

What Is Dyslexia? A Primer for Those Interested an Early Childhood Assistant Diploma

Most people understand dyslexia as a ‘reading disability’. However, it is important for professionals with early childhood assistant training to know that it’s more complex than that. Dyslexia affects the areas of the brain that process language, which impacts a child’s ability to identify speech sounds and relate them to letters and words. 

As many know, this makes reading very difficult, but dyslexia can also impact one’s spelling, speaking, and writing skills. At first, children with dyslexia may try memorizing words in order to keep up with their peers’ reading levels. However, by third grade, where students are expected to read fluently, it becomes practically impossible for those with dyslexia to meet certain learning outcomes without some extra help.

Having dyslexia can be extremely frustrating for children, but fortunately there are many strategies to help these students thrive

How to Detect Dyslexia in Early Childhood

In order to provide success strategies for children with dyslexia, it’s important to understand what dyslexia looks like in early childhood—especially considering how common it is. 

However, diagnosing dyslexia can be a challenge as reading difficulties are often blamed on a poor learning environment or a lack of motivation. Fortunately, though, there are a few signs that parents, teachers, and early childcare assistants alike can look out for.

If a child struggles to learn simple rhymes or has a speech delay, for instance, they may have dyslexia. A young person with dyslexia may also find it difficult to follow directions and distinguish left from right. In school, children with dyslexia may reverse words while reading and struggle with copying notes.

Detecting dyslexia early on can allow children to get the help they need

What You Can do to Help Dyslexic Children After Early Childhood Assistant Training

Although children can’t ‘grow out’ of dyslexia, there are many ways that those in an early childhood assistant program can help children.

It is important for early childcare assistants to help children with dyslexia manage the social and emotional effects that it can cause. Many children with dyslexia experience low self-esteem due to their perceived lack of reading skills, so it is important for early childcare assistants to reinforce positive messages and affirm a child’s intellect and abilities. 

Are you interested in an early childhood assistant diploma?

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