A major question I'm always asked is, should my child be evaluated for dyslexia? Most parents and teachers delay evaluating a child with reading difficulties because they believed the problems are temporary, that they will be outgrown. This is simply not true. As the participants in the Connecticut longitudinal study have demonstrated, at least three out of four children who read poorly in third grade continue to have reading problems in high-school and beyond. As noted previously, at and her shown in this figure, the most rapid growth in reading takes place from grades 1-3. You can look at the angles. You could see from 1-3, how slanted it is. The dyslexic child is already behind by first grade. Look at the yellow arrow, you see the space. These data demonstrate that the reading trajectories of dyslexic readers never catch up with those of typical readers. The clear takeaway is that effective reading interventions must be implemented as early as possible. When reading acquisition is accelerating most rapidly. When children are on the steepest upward slope of developing phonological awareness, understanding letter-sound relationships and building a lexicon or vocabulary. Later interventions may minimally decrease or stop the gap from widening, but will not overcome the already existing differences. In early grades. Optimally, intervention should begin no later than first grade. The take-home message here is that children must be screened. If at risk, evaluate it as early as possible in kindergarten or first grade optimally. Now I want to say something about something really important and that is implementing the Sea of Strengths model. Parents and teachers can play an active role In the early identification of a reading problem. All that is required is an observant parent or teacher who knows what she is looking for and who is willing to spend time listening to her child speak and read. The most helpful guide to accurate identification and effective treatment of dyslexia comes from the Sea of Strengths model and isolated weakness in getting to the sounds of words surrounded by an array of horror level strengths and thinking and reasoning. Using this simple model, many parents and teachers have become experts at recognizing the tale signs of dyslexia. Perhaps the most important clues to a potential reading problem are discovered by listening to your trial speak. The very first clue to dyslexia may be a delay in speaking. Once a child begins to speak, difficulties in pronunciation, sometimes referred to as baby talk, that continues past the usual time. Maybe another early warning. By five or six years of age, a child should have a little problem saying most words correctly. An important sign of dyslexia in young dyslexic children, is their lack of sensitivity to rhyme. Children's familiarity with nursery rhymes turns out to be a strong predictor of their latest success and reading. In England, researchers asked three and four-year old, can you say, for example, Humpty Dumpty for me? Regardless of intelligence or family circumstances, children who are the most familiar with nursery rhymes were the top readers three years later. The British researchers also compared a group of children with reading difficulties to a group of younger children who read well. Each child was asked to listen to a list of words and you see them in the figure, fun, pin, bun, and gun. Then to select, which were did not belong. Here, the reading disables child's troubles with rhyme became apparent. Although several years or older, the poor realist experienced much more trouble choosing which word in the list did not rhyme and here you can see it's pin. It is not a matter of maturation, just an insensitivity to the sound structure of language. When speaking, dyslexic children have difficulty accessing the intended phoneme. These children often point instead of speaking or become tearful or angry as they become increasingly frustrated at being unable to utter the word they have in mind. As the child gets older, she may resort to using words lacking in precision or specificity to cover up her retrieval difficulties, such as constantly using vague words like stuff and things instead of the actual name of the object. As an example, I went and picked up the stuff and took it there. The things were all mixed up, but I got the stuff anyway. It is important to remember the problem is with word retrieval and not with thinking. She knows exactly what she wants to say. The difficulty is with pulling the right word out. It is also good to keep in mind and to remind the child's teacher that he understands many more words than he can articulate well. That is why it is well-known that it's dyslexic child's listening vocabulary. Understanding words that he hears is much larger than his spoken language vocabulary. These problems are discussed in more detail in the second edition of overcoming dyslexia. So you ask, what must a child learn in order to be able to make progress in reading? To make progress in reading, the trials must learn how the alphabetic code works. Linking letters to sounds and then sounding out words is the only guarantee of being able to decode the thousands of new words a reader will encounter. But I want you to keep this in mind. Reading is more than associating letters with sounds. The aspiring reader must build his reading vocabulary, so eventually, he can read complex, long or unfamiliar words. Since he has created specific neural pathways linking letters to their sounds, he is accumulated within his brain a broad range of letter-sound representations. If our young reader want to stop here, his reading would be very slow and laborious since he would have to read letter by letter. But as a child reads, he builds up his vocabulary. With it enriches the neural connections linking the sounds, the letters, and the meaning of more and more words. Now things really began to accelerate. You will recall the interactive theory I presented earlier that the neural mechanisms for the elements of reading, phonology, orthography, semantics can be thought of as distributed patterns of neural activity representing each of these elements. In other words, multiple neuropathways must be activated and then joined together in order to recognize your work. The more the child reads, the more he develops each of these pathways so that they are not only robust, but can now rapidly come together to identify a word. As I noted earlier, as a person becomes proficient in reading the different relevant information, the word spelling, its pronunciation and its meaning are more tightly linked together as part of the same resonating neural circuit. Once you plug into the word, the whole circuit lights up and the word is immediately recognized and understood. A skilled reader has a huge internal dictionary of words whose features are rapidly integrated, resulting in the words immediate identification. Now I'm going to talk about fluency, it is so important and often overlooked. Fluency, which is reading words quickly, smoothly, and importantly, with good expression, is acquired by practice, by reading words over and over again. This is consistent with what we know about neural circuits that are reinforced and strengthened by repetition. Typically, a reader must have four or more successful encounters with the new word to be able to read it fluently. Once a word can be read fluently, the reader no longer has any need to rely on context. What is most important in assessing fluency? Although measures of fluency often focus on accuracy and speed, the really critical component of fluency is the ability to read with meaning. Yes, the ability to read with meaning, which is demonstrated by reading with good expression, often referred to as prosody. The examiner listens. Does the reader slow down or quicken the pace? Read with joy or somberly lower, or raise his voice? Depending on the meaning of the sentences attempting to convey. Fluency does not describe a stage in which a reader is able to decode all words instantly. Rather we become fluent word by word. I went through a lot, even between kindergarten and fourth grade and discovering my dyslexia. It was not pleasant. That's something that haunts me a bit because we really need to tackle these issues and dyslexia, I think. Even the way we diagnose it, not having it be just a this is something you should. It's enough people test them all inexpensively. Kindergarten nine, and then you know what you're dealing with. At least you can start managing that rather than putting people in educational ghettos. That is something that I really hope we can change because without it, we're not going to have the labor force we need. Dyslexia in particular, hits so many people and disproportionately hits those people who are denied access to unleashing their talent. The fact that we all learn better, if you teach people through the methods that help dyslexics. All of that suggests we could unleash a lot of talent. I have worked with kids that people would have discarded that have more great intelligence and consult problems than I could have ever imagined. It's a privilege that I get to do it, but it's also frustrating because of how much it means we're leaving on the table of people's potential.