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Autism Therapy for Early Childhood Intervention in Singapore


What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that affects a person's ability to read, write, and spell. It is a condition that is estimated to affect up to 20% of the population, making it a relatively common learning disorder. Dyslexia is not a reflection of an individual's intelligence, and people with dyslexia can be just as intelligent as their peers. However, they may experience difficulties with certain tasks, such as reading aloud or spelling rules. It is crucial to identify dyslexia early through a dyslexia assessment so that the child can receive the appropriate help  to succeed in school and beyond. With right support and intervention, children with dyslexia can learn to read and write effectively.

There are different types of dyslexia, including phonological dyslexia, surface dyslexia, and rapid naming deficit dyslexia. Phonological dyslexia affects a person's ability to decode words, while surface dyslexia affects their ability to recognise whole words. Rapid naming deficit dyslexia affects a person's ability to quickly name objects or colours.

What are the Causes of Dyslexia?

The exact cause of dyslexia is not fully understood, but it is believed be related to differences in brain development and function. Research suggests that genetics may also play a role the development of dyslexia.

Signs and Symptoms of Dyslexia

Some common signs and symptoms of dyslexia include:

  • Reading difficulties: This can show up as trouble sounding out words, slow reading speed, difficulty with fluency, or needing to re-read passages to understand them.

  • Spelling challenges: Inconsistent or inaccurate spelling, even for common words, can be a sign of dyslexia.

  • Trouble with phonemic awareness: This refers to the ability to identify and manipulate sounds in words. A child with dyslexia might struggle to break down words into individual sounds or rhyme words.

  • Writing difficulties: Messy handwriting, trouble organizing thoughts on paper, or taking a long time to complete writing tasks.

  • Other challenges: Difficulty following instructions, poor short-term memory, and problems staying organised can sometimes be associated with dyslexia.

It's important to remember that these signs can also be present in children without dyslexia. However, if you notice a cluster of these difficulties affecting your child's daily life, seeking a dyslexia assessment is recommended for a proper diagnosis.

Impact of Dyslexia on a Child's Learning & Development

Dyslexia is a condition that can have a significant impact on a child's academic performance and overall sense of self-esteem. Children who are diagnosed with dyslexia may experience difficulties with reading, writing, and spelling, which can lead to feelings of frustration and inadequacy. Here are some common impact of dyslexia on a child's reading, spoken and written language.


  • Decoding Difficulties: One of the main struggles is with decoding, which is the ability to sound out unfamiliar words. People with dyslexia may have trouble connecting the written letters to their corresponding sounds. This can make reading slow, laborious, and filled with errors.

  • Fluency Issues: Because decoding is challenging, fluency (reading smoothly and effortlessly) suffers. The struggle to decode each word takes away focus from understanding the overall meaning of the sentence or passage.

  • Confusing Similar Words: Letters or words that look alike (such as "bed" and "bad") can be easily mixed up.

  • Poor Phonics Awareness: Difficulty recognising and manipulating the sounds within words can hinder reading comprehension.

  • Reduced Reading Stamina & Comprehension: The effort required to decode and read fluently can lead to fatigue and a reluctance to read for extended periods. The enormous effort to decode the words takes the child away from the task of understanding the written words, can can lead to poor comprehension of longer written paragraphs.

Spoken Language:

While dyslexia is primarily known for its impact on reading and writing, it can also influence spoken language in some individuals. Here's how:

  • Word Retrieval Difficulties: People with dyslexia may experience what's called "tip-of-the-tongue syndrome" more frequently. This means they know the word they want to say but struggle to access it. They might describe it as being "on the tip of their tongue."

  • Phonological Processing Challenges: The same difficulties with processing the sounds of language (phonemes) that affect reading can also affect spoken language. This might lead to:

    • Mispronunciations: Especially with longer or more complex words, they might substitute sounds or struggle to say them accurately.

    • Speech Sound Sequencing Issues: Putting sounds in the correct order within a word can be challenging, sometimes leading to jumbled pronunciations.

  • Reduced Vocabulary Use: If finding the right words is difficult, someone with dyslexia might rely on simpler vocabulary or use phrases to express themselves.

  • Fluency Disruptions: The struggle to retrieve words or sequence sounds can lead to hesitations, pauses, or fillers ("um," "like") in speech. This can sometimes be mistaken for nervousness or a lack of confidence.

Written Language:

  • Spelling: This is often the most recognised challenge. Due to trouble connecting sounds to letters (decoding), people with dyslexia may struggle to spell accurately.

  • Written Expression: Putting thoughts into words and organizing them can be another hurdle.

  • Grammar and Punctuation: While not always the case, some individuals with dyslexia might also face difficulties with grammar and punctuation.

  • Reduced Written Output: The effort required to write can be discouraging, leading to shorter assignments or reluctance to participate in writing activities.

It's important to remember that dyslexia manifests differently in everyone. Some people might have a few of these challenges, while others experience them all. It is therefore important to undergo a dyslexia assessment to better understand the specific challenges.

Benefits of A Dyslexia Assessment

A dyslexia assessment provide a comprehensive understanding of a child's reading and writing difficulties. It can help identify specific areas of difficulty and provide recommendations for support and accommodations. Early identification and intervention can lead to improved academic and personal outcomes. Some benefits include:

  • Targeted Support Strategies: With a diagnosis, educators and specialists can develop personalized approaches to support someone with dyslexia. This might include tailored reading programs, assistive technologies, or specific accommodations in the classroom. The assessment process often provides valuable insights for parents and teachers. They gain a better understanding of dyslexia and how to best support the individual's learning needs.

  • Access to Accommodations: A formal diagnosis can open doors to accommodations in educational settings and sometimes even workplaces. These accommodations can level the playing field and allow them to demonstrate their true abilities.

  • Increased Confidence and Self-Esteem: Understanding why reading or writing is challenging can be a huge relief. A diagnosis validates their struggles and emphasizes that it's not due to a lack of intelligence or effort. This newfound understanding can significantly boost self-esteem and confidence. For many individuals with dyslexia, years of struggling to read or write can lead to frustration, anxiety, and even avoidance. A diagnosis can be a turning point, opening the door to effective interventions and fostering a more positive learning experience.

  • Early Intervention is Key: The earlier dyslexia is identified, the sooner support can be implemented. This can significantly improve a person's chances of success in school and future endeavors.

Dyslexia Assessment & Support in Singapore

If you suspect your child has dyslexia, seeking a professional dyslexia assessment is a crucial first step. Here at Redwood Psychology Singapore, this evaluation is typically conducted by a psychologist. A dyslexia assessment for your child will involve clinical interviews with you and your child's teachers, multiple activities conducted with your child designed to understand his/her strengths and weaknesses in his/her cognitive profile, reading, writing, and language processing. The psychologist may ask your child to read aloud, identify sounds in words, or spell words. They might also complete tasks that assess memory, attention, and processing speed. At Redwood Psychology Singapore, the assessment is designed to be a positive and encouraging experience for your child. While working with your child, the psychologist will explain each task clearly and will be mindful of keeping the tasks age-appropriate. After gathering information from multiple sources, the psychologist will conduct a feedback session with you and furnish you with a detailed report outlining the findings and recommendations for next steps.

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