Print Сite this

Factors Contributing to Dyslexia and How They Can Be Addressed


Dyslexia is often being mischaracterized as a childhood disorder. However, it is a lifelong condition; therefore, it has to be studied as a neurodevelopmental disorder that afflicts both children and adults (TED-Ed, 2013). Another term for dyslexia is reading disorder. Difficulties in reading in spite of the usual acumen are one of the features of dyslexia. According to Frith (2013), dyslexia affects people differently. The disorder is mostly detected when a child reaches school-going age. According to the current neurobiological science, the condition is caused by “dysfunction of the normal left hemisphere language network and also implicates abnormal white matter development” (Peterson & Pennington, 2013, p. 12). It is also believed that at the level of neuropsychology, cognitive risk factors significantly contribute to phonological problems.

We will write a
custom essay
specifically for you

for only $16.05 $11/page
308 certified writers online
Learn More

The objective of this study is to determine the factors that contribute to dyslexia and how they can be addressed. The study will serve as an eye-opener to parents as well as elementary school teachers. It will discuss the characteristics of dyslexia, its causes, and how it affects a child’s behavior, speech, cognition, and language. Additionally, the paper will discuss the assessment tools and intervention and instructional approaches. It will also discuss the treatment options that can help to address the condition. The article will touch on alternative treatments and evaluations and give recommendations on learning modifications.

Characteristics and Manifestation of Dyslexia in Children

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke describes dyslexia as “difficulty with phonological processing, spelling, and rapid visual-verbal responding” (as cited in Frith, 2013, p. 49). On the other hand, the definition by the British Dyslexia Association depicts the condition as characterized by learning challenges, which mainly influence the skills that facilitate precise and effortless word reading and spelling. It can be said that the sole purpose of reading is to gain comprehension. Interestingly enough, while dyslexia causes difficulties with decoding, it relatively does not affect comprehension (Peterson & Pennington, 2013). Therefore, it is important to distinguish these two nosologies while discussing dyslexia. For the purpose of differentiating decoding difficulties and problems with comprehension, it is necessary to consider that “dyslexia represents the lower end of a normal distribution of word reading ability” (Peterson & Pennington, 2013, p. 13). This distribution includes 1.5 SD below the average for a particular age and represents approximately 7 percent of the U.S. population (Norton, Beach, & Gabrieli, 2015; Peterson & Pennington, 2013).

Causes of Dyslexia Amid Children

Due to the fact that dyslexia is a complex disorder, it is impossible to identify a single cause or mechanism that contributes to the development of the condition. According to the cerebellar theory, dyslexia occurs due to the damage of the cerebellum-controlled muscle movement. The injury inhibits one’s ability to form words using the tongue and facial muscles. The condition also arises as a result of genetic factors. Frith (2013) posits, “abnormal cortical development presumed to occur before or during the sixth month of fetal brain development causes the abnormality” (p. 52).

It is important to understand that reading is a complex process that requires the simultaneous use of visual, cognitive, and attentional abilities. The modern neuroimaging methods have helped to identify brain regions that are involved in word reading. These regions include inferior frontal, superior temporal, middle temporal, and temporoparietal areas (Norton et al., 2015). Recent research suggests that weakness in phonological awareness (PA) often precedes the development of dyslexia. Another accompanying cause of the disorder is a weakness in the rapid automatized naming (RAN) process. There are also other differences between dyslexic children and typical readers. A study of the brain basis for dyslexia shows that children with familial risk for the disorder have diminished “occipitotemporal and left temporoparietal activations for PA” (Norton et al., 2015, p. 74).

Some cognitive features of the condition include challenges in phonological processing, short-term memory, and difficulties in automatizing skills. The child is unable to acquire phonic skills, thus misreading unpopular words. Problems in memory affect the victim’s ability to remember letter-sound associations. Some behavioral features of dyslexia include the fear to read aloud and to write. Besides, a child has challenges in distinguishing right from left. According to Kovelman et al., (2013), a child suffering from dyslexia exhibits delayed development of speech. Kids with dyslexia have difficulties in expressing themselves through spoken language.

Assessment Tools for the Condition

The assessment of dyslexia in children requires the use of complex tools. They include Nessy’s Dyslexia Quest screening tool and Dyslexia+ Profiler (Kovelman et al., 2013).

Get your
100% original paper
on any topic

done in as little as
3 hours
Learn More

Nessy’s Dyslexia Quest screening tool is based on “the tests of educational psychologists, mirroring the output that they would assess to determine the likelihood of dyslexia” (Kovelman et al., 2013, p. 758). The screening results are not an official diagnosis of the condition. Instead, they help to identify potential areas of interest. The Dyslexia+ Profiler is a sophisticated online testing program that contributes to determining traits attributed to dyslexia. The program assists kids to exploit their skills and discern the difficulties associated with different aspects of life, thereby helping them to cope with their condition.

Dyslexia can also be assessed by using criteria that have been developed by DeFries in 1985 (Peterson, Pennington, & Olson, 2013). The scientist applied a discriminant function analysis to “separate samples of nontwin individuals with and without a history of significant reading problems” (Peterson et al., 2013, p. 75). Reading, recognition, spelling, and comprehension tests developed by Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT) are used for the production of reading composite score with the correction for age (Peterson et al., 2013). DeFries’ method for the assessment of dyslexia utilizes the following measurable elements: subtyping measures such as phonological coding (PC) and orthographic coding (OC), single-word recognition measures, and cognitive scores of reading (Peterson et al., 2013).

Intervention and Instructional Strategies for Dyslexia

Numerous interventions and instructional strategies can be used to help children suffering from dyslexia. Teachers can offer high-quality instructions coupled with occasional standard assessments to determine kids with difficulties. Besides, they can conduct universal screening to determine children who suffer from the disorder.

Nelson and Gregg (2012) cite secondary intervention as an appropriate strategy for dealing with dyslexia. According to Nelson and Gregg (2012), secondary response “corresponds to the provision of more intensive instructions given individually or in groups to failing readers in early years” (p. 42). The secondary intervention uses both direct and strategy instruction techniques. Another method for addressing the problem of dyslexia in children is the implementation of response to intervention (RTI) models. The application of RTI models in the reading domain is being conducted through inclusive school-wide frameworks that allow educators to provide children suffering from dyslexia with data-driven interventions preventing them from falling behind children with typical reading abilities (Denton, 2012).

Treatment Options

Nelson and Gregg (2012) claim that there are no drugs for curing dyslexia. Nonetheless, different treatment options may be used to help kids with dyslexia. One of the methods used to treat dyslexia is multisensory instruction. Multisensory instruction contributes to equipping students with reading skills. It entails using different senses to acquire learning skills. Teachers help “students to learn syllables by tapping them out with their fingers” (Tops, Callens, Bijn, & Brysbaert, 2014, p. 463). Reading experts, tutors, and psychologists can assist kids to gain reading dexterity through decoding. Decoding entails “associating letters with sounds, breaking words into sounds, and blending sounds into words” (Tops et al., 2014, p. 466). A study on the effectiveness of dyslexia treatment approaches reveals that interventions based on the development of phonetic decoding when compared with other treatment options show “an average improvement index difference of 23 percent in fluency” (Tressoldi, Brembati, Donini, Iozzino, & Vio, 2012, p. 387). The study also suggests that phonics instruction in combination with phonemic awareness training is the most effective approach to the cultivation of literacy skills in children (Tressoldi et al., 2012).

Evaluation and Treatment Alternatives for Children with Dyslexia

Evaluation entails collecting information to determine what leads to a child having reading or spelling problems. One should gather information from parents and teachers to have clear information about educational and growth opportunities offered to a child. Issuing tests can go a long way towards determining the strengths and weaknesses of a kid. It can help to establish an appropriate intervention strategy. For the purpose of evaluation of developmental dyslexia, two models analyzing single word reading are being used: the Dual Route Cascaded model and the connectionist model (Peterson et al., 2013). These computational models help recognize young learners that have “disproportionately poor phonological coding skills” or disproportionately poor orthographic skills” (Peterson et al., 2013, p. 76).

By using these models for evaluation of children, it is possible to distinguish between two types of the disorder: phonological dyslexia and surface dyslexia. Van Viersen, Kroesbergen, Slot, and Bree (2016) maintain that it is imperative to use a functional approach to treating a child who has dyslexia. The treatment method should depend on the degree of skills development of the kid. Van Viersen et al. (2016) state that it is crucial to consider the level of competence of the student instead of his/her grade level. Taking into consideration the fact that both DRC and Harm and Seidenberg’s (HS) models are based on the assessment of the level of competence of readers, it can be argued that they can be considered viable treatment alternatives (Stanway & Miles, 2013).

We will write a custom
for you!
Get your first paper with
15% OFF
Learn More

Recommendations for Parents and Teachers

Parents and educators have a role to play in assisting children with dyslexia (Embracing Dyslexia, 2013). There is ample evidence suggesting that both the home literacy environment (HLE) and teacher interaction styles affect the way children acquire their reading and spelling skills (Kiuru et al., 2012).

Parents should encourage their kids to read so they can acquire the necessary skills. Encouraging children to read printed materials can go a long way towards supporting those with dyslexia. It helps them to understand the spelling and pronunciation of words. The authoritative parenting style, which can be described as high demandingness, is connected with high academic achievement (Kiuru et al., 2012).

Teachers should use resources that motivate learners with dyslexia. They ought to ensure that a lesson is multisensory. Berninger and Abbott (2013) argue that a lesson should involve listening, touching, speaking, and looking. Teachers should be keen to understand their learners and help them accordingly. The extensive literature on teachers’ interactional styles suggests that educators have to strive for the development of warm relationships with children who have reading and spelling difficulties in order to help them develop good reading skills (Kiuru et al., 2012).


Dyslexia is a lifelong condition that affects normal language networks, thereby hampering the development of reading and spelling skills. Parents and teachers can help kids with dyslexia through different techniques. Some standard features of dyslexia include challenges in reading, spelling, visual coding, and writing and fluency skills. Interventions such as direct and strategy instructions can help to address the problem.


Berninger, V., & Abbott, R. (2013). Differences between children with dyslexia who are and are not gifted in verbal reasoning. Gifted Child Quarterly, 57(4), 102-125.

Denton, C. (2012). Response to Intervention for Reading Difficulties in the Primary Grades: Some Answers and Lingering Questions. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 45(3), 232-243.

Embracing Dyslexia. (2013). Embracing dyslexia [Video file]. Web.

Frith, U. (2013). Autism and dyslexia: A glance over 25 years of research. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8(6), 45-63.

Need a
100% original paper
written from scratch

by professional
specifically for you?
308 certified writers online
Learn More

Kiuru, N., Aunola, K., Torppa, M., Lerkkanen, M., Poikkeus, A., Niemi, P.,…Nurmi, J. E. (2012). The role of parenting styles and teacher interactional styles in children’s reading and spelling development. Journal of School Psychology, 50(6), 799-823.

Kovelman, L., Norton, E., Christodoulou, J., Gaab, N., Lieberman, D., Triantafyllou, C.,…Gabrieli, J. (2013). Brains basis of phonological awareness for spoken language in children and its disruption in dyslexia. Cerebral Cortex, 22(4), 754-764.

Nelson, J., & Gregg, N. (2012). Adolescents and college students with ADHD, dyslexia, or comorbid ADHD/dyslexia. Journal of Attention Disorders, 16(3), 34-65.

Norton, E., Beach, S., & Gabrieli, J. (2015). Neurobiology of dyslexia. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 30(1), 73-78.

Peterson, R. L., & Pennington, B. F. (2013). Seminar: Developmental dyslexia. The Lancet, 379(1), 12-21.

Peterson, R., Pennington, B., & Olson, R. (2013). Subtypes of developmental dyslexia: Testing the predictions of the dual-route and connectionist frameworks. Cognition, 126(1), 20-38. Norton, E., Beach, S., & Gabrieli, J. (2015). Neurobiology of dyslexia. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 30(1), 73-78.

Stanway, C., & Miles, L. (2013). Dyslexia (1st ed.). London, England: BAAF.

TED-Ed. (2013). What is dyslexia? Kelli-Sandman-Hurley [Video file]. Web.

Tops, W., Callens, M., Bijn, E., & Brysbaert, M. (2014). Spelling in adolescents with dyslexia: Errors and modes of assessment. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 47(4), 435-478.

Tressoldi, P., Brembati, F., Donini, R., Iozzino, R., & Vio, C. (2012). Treatment of Dyslexia in a Regular Orthography: Efficacy and Efficiency (Cost-Effectiveness) Comparison Between Home vs. Clinic-Based Treatments. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 8(3), 375-390.

Van Viersen, S., Kroesbergen, E., Slot, E., & Bree, E. (2016). High reading skills mask dyslexia in gifted children. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 49(2), 782-793.

Cite this paper

Select style


StudyCorgi. (2022, February 26). Factors Contributing to Dyslexia and How They Can Be Addressed. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2022, February 26). Factors Contributing to Dyslexia and How They Can Be Addressed.

Work Cited

"Factors Contributing to Dyslexia and How They Can Be Addressed." StudyCorgi, 26 Feb. 2022,

* Hyperlink the URL after pasting it to your document

1. StudyCorgi. "Factors Contributing to Dyslexia and How They Can Be Addressed." February 26, 2022.


StudyCorgi. "Factors Contributing to Dyslexia and How They Can Be Addressed." February 26, 2022.


StudyCorgi. 2022. "Factors Contributing to Dyslexia and How They Can Be Addressed." February 26, 2022.


StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Factors Contributing to Dyslexia and How They Can Be Addressed'. 26 February.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.