What is Phonological Dyslexia?

While ‘phonological dyslexia’ is not an official type of dyslexia, when your child receives a diagnosis of dyslexia, you may be given information about a specific area of reading they have trouble with, such as phonological processing. Because each child with dyslexia can present with different symptoms, this ‘subtype’ can provide you with more information about what aspects of reading are particularly challenging for your child, and this can help target intervention. 

Phonological dyslexia is one of those subtypes. It is important to remember that your child may have difficulty with more than one area of reading, not just phonology.

1. What is Phonological Dyslexia?

If you have heard the term phonological dyslexia, you can understand it as difficulty with the patterns of sounds, or phonological processing. Many children with dyslexia have some difficulty with phonological processing.

Children with difficulty with phonological processing can have trouble hearing the individual sounds in a word, separating different sounds, and manipulating those sounds. This can contribute to difficulties sounding out and spelling words,.

2. What causes Phonological Dyslexia?

Researchers have not determined one cause of dyslexia. We know that genetics plays a role, so your child may be more likely to have dyslexia if a family member has also been diagnosed. We also know that dyslexia is brain-based, meaning that it stems from a difference in how your child processes language and possibly phonological information.

3. Symptoms of Phonological Dyslexia

If you are wondering if your child has difficulty with phonological processing, you may observe your child has difficulty with the following skills. Note that these symptoms may vary according to your child’s age. Difficulty with:

  • Connecting letters to their sounds: Knowing the letter ‘s’ makes the “sss” sound
  • Breaking down words into syllables: Separating butterfly into bu-tter-fly.
  • Identifying the first letter in a word: “mat” and “more” both start with ‘m’. 
  • Knowing how many individual sounds are in a word: that “dog” has three sounds in it (d, o, g).
  • Replacing sounds in words.: trying to say “hat” without the ‘h’ sound.
  • Blending sounds together to sound out a word. 
  • Breaking a word down into sounds in order to spell it. 

Phonological processing is an important skill in order to read and spell because it allows us to understand the different patterns of sounds that make up a word and the letters that go with those patterns. LightSails’s Personalized Reader can help support your child with phonological processing by putting syllable dividers in words to help your child see and learn how words are broken up. Moreover, LightSail’s writing and fluency modules make learning these important phonological processing skills engaging and fun! 

It’s not unusual for children with dyslexia to have trouble with phonological processing. 

Fortunately, LightSail’s Personalized Reader is designed with these readers in mind! 

Posted on 9.Sep.21 in Struggling Readers

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