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Dyslexia is a term that many people have heard of but may not completely understand. It’s a fairly common reading disorder, affecting as many as 43.5 million Americans. About 3.5% of students in the U.S. receive special education for reading difficulties.

And now a recent study indicates that if your child has trouble reading nonsense words, he or she may be at a higher risk for having Dyslexia.

According to a study done at Aalto University (Reported by Science Daily), 7 & 8 year-old children who had more difficulty repeating and differentiating between made up (or “nonsense”) words were at a higher risk for having dyslexia because that part of their brain is having trouble with the skill.

If you notice your child is having reading difficulties, this might be an activity you’d want to try. If you make up a few random words, can your child repeat them the right way? Of course, that’s no standardized research study, so you should seek a literacy assessment from your child’s teacher or school specialist, or from a Speech-Language Pathologist in your area if you have concerns.

The study also gave an important insight on how to help your child overcome some of the risks of dyslexia – by boosting their self-confidence in reading!

Build a more confident reader by keeping your child interested in their books. Choose books with topics related to your child’s favorite things so they stay motivated to pick up a book and read. Provide support as needed when your child reads. Give him or her lots of positive, specific praise to boost their confidence in their reading skills – like saying, “wow, you are working so hard at reading!”.

Amy Yacoub, MS, CCC-SLP | Speech Pathologist

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