What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia involves persistent difficulty in reading and spelling. This is a common disorder.
Children with dyslexia are unable to keep the reading process under control, and will keep spelling or sometimes guessing while reading. They may make a lot of mistakes, read words which are not printed, or skip difficult words which they have difficulty reading and sometimes pronouncing. Difficulty in spelling can be seen through many mistakes: letters are mixed up or left out, the order of letters are discarded, words are written that are unrecognizable, the system of open and closed phrases is not controlled enough, and conjugating verbs is difficult.
Adults who have dyslexia will have difficulties in reading; they make a lot of mistakes and often read words which are not printed. Reading will require so much concentration that little of what is read can be taken in. Written text characteristically contains many spelling mistakes.
In most cases reading and spelling difficulties can be reduced to problems with language and pronunciation. Adults and children who have dyslexia often have a weakly developed grasp of language, and will score low on various language tests. Listening ability is also small.
What does the speech therapist do?
The speech therapist is a professional in the area of speech, and because many reading and spelling difficulties originate in problems with language and language development, it is in the area that treatment is centred. Listening- and language training will be given to fulfil the basics, required in learning to read and spell properly. Reading and spelling alone is then trained step by step by the speech therapist, using a wide scale of exercises and methods.
Treatment of dyslexia should, preferably, start at as young an age as possible, however it is often only after many years of worry and failure that changes are sought. Treatment will improve difficulties in reading and spelling, even discarding them completely. Regular practice and a lot of motivation are very important, and there is no case in which speech therapy will not help, however small.
At this point in time, speech therapy treatment for dyslexia will not be reimbursed by medical insurance. Other speech therapy disorders, which are combined with dyslexia will be considered, provided it has been recommended by a doctor or medical specialist. Reimbursement according to individual health insurance companies depends on their terms of policy.