Signs and symptoms of adult dyslexia.
- Are you a slow reader?
- Symptoms of unusual reading difficulty.
Adult Dyslexia Symptoms
Why Reading Can Be A Challenge
Most adolescents and adults are able to master the basic skill of recognizing and decoding words. But they are slow readers or find themselves having to re-read text constantly to pick up meaning. This slow reading progress makes reading exhausting and not at all enjoyable. In most cases, the issue is an underlying processing or memory difficulty that can be treated by our dyslexia reading programs.
Adult reading programs
Dyslexia Symptoms Explained
Here is an explanation of the cause of the most common symptoms of adult dyslexia:
Are You a Slow Reader?
The most common reason that adults with dyslexia read slowly is that their language processing skills are not fully developed. This means that they do not clearly hear every sound in words and so when they see them on a page there is a disconnect.
Most adults are able to hear words as one sound but are not hearing (and processing) well enough to hear all the sounds inside a word. For example, they might hear a word like "front" as one sound, but in their "word memory" they might not be able to break it apart to "f-r-on-t." If for instance they are not hearing the "f" they will not recognize the word as text on a page.
Fluent readers have "mapped" all the words they know for reading, i.e., every word is stored in word memory, accurately broken down into single sounds. And so, when reading, the brain automatically matches text to word memory, leading to fluent reading, like riding a bike. For slow readers though, not all words are accurately "mapped" and so the reader needs to concentrate a little harder to guess or decode un-mapped (unfamiliar) words which slows the reading process down. It also is what makes reading exhausting -- meaning that you can only read for short periods, and more than likely, it is not enjoyable.
Do You Have Poor Reading Comprehension?
Many struggling readers appear to be comfortable and fluent decoders, but they struggle to retain what they are reading, or get the full meaning from the text. There are two skills required here:
First, you must be able to decode effortlessly. Many adults master the skill of reading at speed, but it is not an automatic process. It requires a lot of concentration, which diverts energy from brain capacity that would otherwise be applied to the task of reading comprehension. If you are a slow reader, there is also the problem that by the time you finish a chapter you have forgotten its opening text since you read it so long ago. This is a common sign of dyslexia in adults.
Second, many adults with dyslexia fail to master the skill of thinking while reading. It needs to be an automatic part of reading that the brain is constantly engaged, constantly thinking about what is being read. Not only taking in the meaning of the words, but also thinking about how this fits with prior text and what other implications might be. But even more than that, the reader must be able to think critically while reading. Am I getting this? Does this make sense to me? What is the main point of this?
Can You Read For Long Periods?
Adult dyslexia affects reading stamina -- adults with dyslexia struggle to read for long periods. This applies to reading for pleasure, but even more to reading text books or other material that need to be read in preparation for an exam. The main reason for this lack of stamina is that inefficient readers multi-task while reading, which is draining. The brain is unable to decode automatically, and so in addition to its reading comprehension tasks it is called to action to help decode the text.
Good readers decode automatically and effortlessly, and so their brains are not multi-tasking, they are able to focus entirely on reading comprehension without the decoding diversion. This not only leads to a more relaxed reading style that can go on for hours, it is also more fun.
How Gemm Helps Struggling Readers
Gemm uses Fast ForWord for adults to exercise the skills needed to be a natural reader. It first makes sure the cognitive foundation is sound -- in most cases of adults with dyslexia it is not -- and then moves on to exercises that build reading speed and comprehension, with spelling, vocabulary and language structure exercises added to the mix as needed.
Gemm Learning will develop an individualized protocol to meet your reading goals, to help dyslexia in adults at any age. Our program requires only 30 minutes a day, five days a week for 3-4 months.
Dyslexia is simply "an unexpected difficulty with reading." It is not a disease or an affliction. There is a lot of research into dyslexia in adults and children at the moment. About 40% of dyslexia is thought to be inherited and there are roughly equal numbers of dyslexic men and women.
If you are assessed and it is found that you are dyslexic, it is important not to feel that you are doomed to failure! Given appropriate help, in most cases a dyslexic adult can succeed at college or at work at a level roughly equal to the non-dyslexic people. Moreover, dyslexic adults often have talents in other areas -- such as creativity, physical co-ordination and empathy with other people -- which can boost your self-esteem!
Gemm Learning uses Fast ForWord software to provide adult dyslexia help. This reading program automates decoding. By doing so we can make reading less exhausting and at the same time build reading comprehension. Many of our adult students are able to enjoy reading in just a few weeks.