The Essentials On Adult Dyslexia
Dyslexia can be a very problematic condition that particularly affects a person’s daily living activities. However, it is not one of those well-known conditions like cancer, AIDS, and the likes. To understand how dyslexia affects people, specifically adults, you must first understand what dyslexia is, its causes, severity, and prevalence.
What Is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is basically a condition that presents a person’s difficulty in processing information that is usually related to short-term memory deficiency and visual coordination. If you have this condition, your short-term memory would be particularly weak. It can be either your auditory or visual memory that is affected or both. Due to this, being a dyslexic person, it would be difficult for you to learn the connection between the spoken sound and the written symbol.
It is mainly categorized to be as a learning disability since it mainly affects the vital areas in which learning is related to. Since auditory and visual skills are needed in learning, dyslexia can make one disabled in this field.
How Severe Can One Be?
The severity and range of the condition can vary widely for dyslexic people. The main problem areas of difficulty would be reading, spelling, numeration, writing, time-keeping and personal organization. The degree of the effect on an individual can be observed from mild spelling and reading difficulties to severe problems in an organization or even complete illiteracy. There are no typical cases for dyslexia since each case can be unique from one another.
Some people do not even know that they are dyslexic; while there are a huge number of people, who are only diagnosed when they have reached adulthood already. This may be due to the unpopularity of the condition. Sometimes, it can be misdiagnosed too to be as a different condition that may present similar symptoms.
What Are The Causes?
There is no pinpointed cause of dyslexia, even though much research has been conducted to be able to explain its main cause. However, there are some researches that have gathered some relevant findings on the condition. Some neurological research suggests that a person who has this condition may have some abnormality on how his or her brain’s left hemisphere functions. This is relevant since the left hemisphere is the one that controls your lexical system.
Cognitive research, however, in the past years has mainly focused on the possibility that the cause is related to having problems with phonological awareness, which is one’s awareness of specific speech sounds in words. Additionally, there is a speculation that such problems are somewhat related to a specific portion of the brain.
Whatever the case may be, there appears little doubt that a lot of people having literacy problems really do experience sound insensitivity in different ways. Due to this deficit, reading problems often occurs. What is also obvious is that even though the cause of the problems can be multi-causal and can be different from one person to another, they can still be the main source of intense frustration and depression for any dyslexic person.
Incidence And Prevalence
The estimated incidences of dyslexia can vary greatly every year. It is estimated that it occurs from about to 4-10% of the population. It is also believed that prevalence in males is four times greater than with females.
General Effects In Adulthood
Dyslexia is a condition that is quite hard to recognize. It is also one condition that most people who have it try to hide. Simple tasks like filling in forms, taking phone messages, or even completing timesheets can already be major problems when you have this condition.
Is It Really Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is one of the many learning disabilities that have an effect on language and the acquisition of new knowledge. However, if you suspect that you have this condition, you should get a formal assessment. This is because; dyslexia can be mistaken for other learning disabilities that are related to it.
Here are some of the general symptoms that you have dyslexia and some of the related conditions that can be mistaken for it.
It Is Dyslexia!
When you have dyslexia, you may generally have some difficulty with the use of oral language. If possible, ask your parents or some relatives present during your childhood, whether you were a late talker or not. If they say yes, then this can be one sign of dyslexia. However, it can still be some other condition such as language delay.
Another characteristic would be difficulty in pronouncing words. Also, you may find it hard to acquire new vocabulary and use appropriate grammar for your age now. Directions are often confusing for you too, along with discriminating the difference of “before vs. after”, “right vs. left”, etc.
As a child, learning the alphabet was tedious for you. Even now, memorizing nursery rhymes and songs seem to be hard, even if you’re already an adult. Understanding concepts and the relationships of things can be something you don’t enjoy much. Additionally, word retrieval or naming problems are sometimes experienced.
It is dyslexia if you have had obvious difficulty with reading, such as learning how to read back when you were young, and the inability to identify or make rhyming words. You can also have difficulty in counting the number of syllables that a word has.
Your phonological awareness can be damaged too. You may have some hearing difficulties. Plus, manipulating sounds in words is sometimes pretty hard to do. A little problem with your auditory discrimination can also be present, where you find it difficult to distinguish specific sound within a word.
Dyslexia can also show some difficulty in remembering shapes and names of letters. More often, you reverse your letters when writing or reading. You also tend to omit small words when you read and stumble on long words. Comprehending what you have just read can also be a problem.
Your written language is also affected by dyslexia. You can experience some trouble in putting your ideas on paper. You can also have lots of spelling mistakes, and have problems with proofreading your work.
It Is Something Else
Some of the other conditions that are related to dyslexia are dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADD or ADHD, and dyspraxia. Some of these conditions have similar problems with dyslexia. However, they also have specific symptoms that delineate them from it.
Dysgraphia is basically difficulty with handwriting. Here you are unsure whether you are right or left handed. You also have very poor or slow handwriting. Copying can be difficult. Plus your fine motor skills are really in a bad condition.
Dyscalculia deals with extreme difficulty with math. Simple counting of objects is already hard. You can also reverse your numbers and have lots of calculation errors. Memorizing math facts are not one of your favourite things to do, along with copying math problems.
ADD or ADHD deals with difficulty in attention. You are very inattentive and easily distracted by things around you. You can also be impulsive and hyperactive at times.
Dyspraxia is basically difficulty in coordinating and planning body movements. This can affect both gross and fine motor skills. You can have some difficulty in coordinating your facial muscles, in which a simple smile can be hard to do.
Types Of Test For Adult Dyslexics
An adult that is suspected to have dyslexia can take tests to know whether he or she is positive for the condition. If you think that you have dyslexia, then it is recommended that you take a test. There are basically two types of tests that you can get, namely screening and comprehensive.
Screening tests are specially designed to narrow down the number of candidates for the condition. These are typically used in schools, in which a number of students take it and those who yield a positive result are identified to take a more thorough testing procedure.
These are not really specific tests for dyslexia. However, they are simply designed to help out researchers to identify and focus on students or individuals who appear to have difficulties in regards to their studies, and who may have a possible case of dyslexia.
Such kind of test can be taken both by adults and children. Some companies can give out a test like this to identify who among their employees are somewhat challenged, specifically in reading, writing and math.
Usually, a screening test is consisted of a small number of short questions, like: “Do you have difficulty with spelling?”, “Were you unenthusiastic to go to school?”, “Do you find following directions difficult or confusing?”, “Do you have troubles with math?”, and the likes.
A person that yields a positive through this test may be having problems due to a number of causes. Some of the possible reasons are Attention Deficit (ADHD), emotional problems, dyspraxia, autism, delayed learning, and possibly dyslexia. Screening tests are not really considered as a valid test for dyslexia, but these can be very useful for researchers.
The second type of test is comprehensive tests. This kind of test for dyslexia takes a look at the person as a whole. It also examines and tries to find out the root cause of any kind of learning difficulty that you may be experiencing.
Taking a comprehensive test simply means that you would have to undergo thorough testing. ‘Thorough’ in the sense that you would have to go to the extent of having your brain tested. Here your brain is examined to know which of its parts are functioning, which ones are not, and which are interfering with your acquisition of normal learning.
Not only do you have to get your brain checked, but also have to take a number of aptitude tests. Initially, your reading, comprehension, and spelling skills are to be tested. They also get your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) by giving you intelligence tests. Additionally, you would also have to take visual tests, visual scanning tests, laterality tests, sequencing tests, reversal test and the likes.
These are just some of the general tests that are given when you get a comprehensive kind of testing. However, the number of tests given can still vary, depending on the institute or professional that is giving you a comprehensive assessment. So this means, some may give you more or less, than those tests mentioned above.
Usually, a psychologist is the one that administers a comprehensive test. After all the data are analyzed, all of the test results are compiled into one complete report. In the report, you can see the conclusions about your condition along with the shreds of evidence for them.