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Is Your Child Struggling? Unraveling Dyslexia

Nye Homegrown Learning LLC is dedicated to revolutionizing speech and language resources and evaluations with the motto 'Not Your Expected' at its core. Brooke Nye M.S.Ed., CCC-SLP empowers parents and provides guidance to help them discover invaluable strategies, gain confidence, and step into their role as their child's in-home speech therapist!

 
Executive Contributor Brooke Nye, M.S.Ed., CCC-SLP

In this enlightening article, Brooke delves into the multifaceted nature of dyslexia, exploring its familial roots, subtle signs, and the profound impact it has on children and adolescents. As a parent, understanding dyslexia's nuances and early signs is crucial in providing the right support and interventions. Brooke's insights, drawn from her personal experience and professional expertise, offer a holistic view of dyslexia beyond its phonological boundaries. Through actionable strategies and resources, she empowers parents to navigate the journey of supporting their children effectively. Join Brooke as she unveils the layers of dyslexia, challenges existing perceptions, and champions a collaborative approach where parents play a pivotal role in their child's success.

 

Brown wooden cabin on top of the mountain

Understanding dyslexia: My journey as an SLP with dyslexia

As a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) with dyslexia, my mission transcends the confines of my professional role. It intertwines with a personal odyssey which led me to the self-discovery of dyslexia at 25. Having navigated the educational labyrinth to become an SLP, I realized the profound lack of understanding surrounding dyslexia, especially its familial roots and subtle, yet profound, signs.


My journey was marked by resilient determination, facing the peaks and valleys of dyslexia head-on. Some days were difficult, others more challenging, and some seemingly overwhelming. Yet, fueled by an unyielding motivation, my unwavering commitment to making a meaningful impact pushed me forward. Despite my surprisingly introverted tendencies, I recognized a profound desire to do more—to assist more families facing struggles similar to those I witnessed in my journey as a pediatric SLP, as well as when I provided Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy.


Common threads wove through the narratives of these families—shared hopes for a better future for their children, aspirations for equal opportunities, and the desire for their children to thrive like any other. The realization struck me: there was more I could do, more families I could help. Thus, a dedicated mission was born—to aid families navigating the complex journey of parenting children and adolescents struggling with dyslexia, dispelling the notion of believing age diminishes the possibilities of support and growth. Remember, there’s always room to grow!

 

Defining dyslexia: Beyond phonological boundaries

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) defines dyslexia as a neurobiological learning disability characterized by challenges in word recognition, spelling, and decoding—often rooted in a deficit within the phonological component of language (combining sounds to structure speech), however, it's crucial to broaden this definition.


Research by Ramus et al (2003) discusses how dyslexia is not solely tethered to phonological deficits. A significant proportion of individuals with dyslexia may contend with additional auditory, visual, or motor disorders, influencing their reading capabilities. This intricate web of factors demands a more complex understanding, acknowledging the diverse paths dyslexia can take.

 

Shifting perspectives: A holistic approach

In a compelling podcast by SLP Nerdcast (2023) titled, "Thinking outside the 'box' Exploring the role of the SLP in dyslexia," a critical observation surfaced. If a child exhibits strong phonological awareness skills but struggles orthographically—decoding letter sequences—the IDA's definition might inadvertently exclude them from the dyslexia classification. Tiffany Hogan and Hugh W. Catts (2021) propose an alternative definition, underscoring dyslexia as a severe and persistent difficulty in learning to read and spell words despite adequate opportunity and instruction.


This definition encompasses the multifaceted nature of dyslexia, emphasizing a preventative model rather than a rigid diagnostic framework. While there's no cure for dyslexia, understanding and early intervention are pivotal. Parents and educators must embrace prevention, identifying students early to pave the way for effective intervention, potentially averting the need for later Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and mitigating the struggles which often plague older students with dyslexia.

 

The weighted vest analogy: Understanding the struggle

Students with dyslexia often feel like they're swimming with a weighted vest compared to their peers. The shift from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’ becomes a daunting challenge. The struggle intensifies, leading to disruptive behaviors rooted in the frustration of not comprehending classwork due to reading difficulties.


There's no one-size-fits-all checklist for dyslexia. Professionals must adopt a holistic view, considering the whole child. In school settings, the 'wait and see' approach may prevail, delaying formal diagnoses until second or third grade. However, this misses a crucial window of opportunity. Early intervention is paramount, as research indicates it's more effective than waiting until a child fails.

 

The role of SLPs: A vital player in dyslexia support

As SLPs, we play a pivotal role in dyslexia intervention and prevention. ASHA outlines eight service delivery domains for SLPs, each contributing to our ability to support students and families dealing with dyslexia. While SLP’s are not reading specialists, we bring a wealth of knowledge in language development, allowing us to contribute significantly to literacy skills.


Collaboration, counseling, prevention, screening, assessment, treatment, modalities, and populations/systems—the domains of SLP service delivery—paint a comprehensive picture of our role. By fostering awareness and understanding of dyslexia, we empower our colleagues and contribute to a more informed approach in identifying and supporting these students and their families.


Empower your child's journey: Personalized consultations and comprehensive resources await

At Nye Homegrown Learning LLC, we understand the challenges of navigating dyslexia. If you feel your child is struggling or you want to learn more about supporting their speech, language, and literacy skills, book a personalized consultation with Brooke Nye, M.S.Ed., CCC-SLP – during this 1-hour session, we'll discuss your concerns, your child's strengths, weaknesses, and create a tailored plan of action. Together, let's empower your child for success!


I invite you further to embark on a journey of empowerment and transformation with my comprehensive resource! As a seasoned speech-language pathologist specializing in dyslexia, I'm dedicated to helping parents like you navigate the complexities of speech and language development. Whether your child faces dyslexia challenges or you simply seek guidance in nurturing their speech skills at home, this resource is your roadmap to success. Discover invaluable strategies, gain confidence, and step into your role as your child's in-home speech therapist. Click here to access the book and unlock your child's full potential!


Barriers to recognition: The need for a consensus

Despite our collective efforts, a significant barrier remains—the lack of consensus on what dyslexia truly is. Awareness is scattered, and definitions vary, impeding timely identification and intervention. Recognizing dyslexia early is crucial, and as SLPs, we can contribute by advocating for a clearer and more inclusive definition.


In conclusion, unraveling dyslexia demands a collaborative effort. SLPs stand at the forefront, bridging gaps, dispelling myths, and embracing a holistic view which considers the whole child. It's time to shift our mindset, foster consensus, and amplify our role in dyslexia intervention and prevention!

 

Check out my website to learn more about dyslexia in children and adolescents!


 

Brooke Nye, M.S.Ed., CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist and Entrepreneur

Brooke's expertise transforms learning experiences for children and adolescents in regard to speech, language, and literacy skills. She understands the challenges parents face in nurturing their children's speech and language development while juggling busy lives. Her journey from teaching to entrepreneurship was fueled by a desire to inspire and educate other parents like herself. Discover more insightful articles by Brooke and explore her transformative resources on her website today which not only enhance children's communication skills, but also empowers parents to unlock their potential and embark on their entrepreneurial dreams!

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