Developmental Reading Disorder

Developmental reading disorder is a reading disability that occurs when the brain does not properly recognize and process certain symbols. It is also called dyslexia.

Learning disorders tend to run in families. It is important to notice and recognize the warning signs. The earlier the disorder is discovered, the better the outcome.

Developmental reading disorder (DRD) or dyslexia occurs when there is a problem in areas of the brain that help interpret language. It is not caused by vision problems. The disorder is an information processing problem. It does not interfere with thinking ability. Most people with DRD have normal or above-average intelligence.

DRD may appear with other problems. These can include developmental writing disorder and developmental arithmetic disorder.

The condition often runs in families.

A person with DRD may have trouble rhyming and separating sounds that make up spoken words. These abilities affect learning to read. A child's early reading skills are based on word recognition. That involves being able to separate out the sounds in words and match them with letters and groups of letters.

People with DRD have trouble connecting the sounds of language to the letters of words. This may also create problems in understanding sentences.

True dyslexia is much broader than simply confusing or transposing letters. For example, mistaking a "b" and a "d."

In general, symptoms of DRD may include problems with:
  • Determining the meaning of a simple sentence
  • Learning to recognize written words
  • Rhyming words

Specialized help (called remedial instruction) can help improve reading and comprehension.

A different approach is needed for each person with DRD. An individual education plan should be considered for each child with the condition.

The following may be recommended:
  • Extra learning assistance, called remedial instruction
  • Private, individual tutoring
  • Special day classes

Positive reinforcement is important. Many students with learning disabilities have poor self-esteem. Psychological counseling may be helpful.