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Dyslexia and IQ are not linked

Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in children. The disorder can be mild to severe. But the most important aspect dyslexia is that it can be treated and the sooner it is treated, the better.

Dyslexia interferes with reading, spelling, and sometimes even speaking. The disorder originates in the brain where an impairment interferes with the ability to translate what the eyes and ears see and hear into language. However, dyslexia is not caused by brain damage or mental retardation. Many people with dyslexia are very intelligent.

In fact, a study which will be published in the January 1, 2010 issue of Psychological Science discusses this fact. Dr. Sally E. Shaywitz, Yale professor and co-director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, conducted a study using data from 445 Connecticut school children gathered over 12-years. The children were tested in reading every year and tested for IQ every other year.

Not surprisingly, the study found that normally developing readers show that IQ and reading follow the same path and influence each other over time. However, the IQ and reading ability of dyslexic children do not follow the same path, nor do they seem to influence one another. This is why a dyslexic person may not read well but still be very bright.

The key to dealing with dyslexia may be in realizing that there is this disparity. The first step is to diagnose the problem correctly. The disorder can go undiagnosed for many years and this can lead to frustrated parents, children, and teachers. Behavior problems may develop and the child may not like school.

Parents who suspect that their child has a problem with reading should have the child evaluated by an expert who understands dyslexia. While Federal education laws require schools to find out if a child is eligible for special education, they may not test specifically for dyslexia. If the school is going to evaluate the child, make sure that dyslexia is one of the disorders they will test for specifically. Dyslexia can be very mild and still cause many severe problems, so it is vital that the diagnosis is made properly.

Once the child has an accurate diagnosis, a treatment plan can be put into place. There are a variety of methods of treating dyslexia, and an expert must determine what is appropriate for the child.

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