How to treat a Learning Disability: The in’s and out’s of dyslexia and dysgraphia

Written by Dr. John Carosso
I specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of dyslexia and dysgraphia; two conditions that are often, more generally, labeled as a “learning disability.” These conditions are usually inherited (that’s right kids, don’t say your parents never gave you anythingJ) and can greatly interfere with a child’s ability to progress in school.  Fortunately, there are an abundance of treatment options but the options can also result in parents being overwhelmed and not knowing what’s best for their child.

Here are some considerations: first, read to your child daily, assuming that the person reading to the child is a good reader and can clearly and accurately pronounce the letters and words. In that regard, there’s no sense in confusing the child further. Books on tape can be helpful otherwise.

Second, practice writing skills initially thru tracing and progressively moving to free-hand. Repetitive tracing and writing of problem letters (b’s, p’s, d’s…) is helpful. Use off-white paper with larger-size font (14 pt or more) to reduce the letters appearing to “move around on the page” (a common complaint).

Third: practice phonics on-line; simply google “free phonics games” and plenty of sites will be available for daily, fun-filled practice. I also advise a multi-sensory approach, such as the Orton-Gillingham reading program. 

There are a host of other options that can be found in a nifty hand-out available by simply requesting, in the Comments section below. Also, feel free to ask any questions in the Comments section. If you found this helpful, forward to a friend and subscribe.  Happy reading.

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Dr. John Carosso

Dr. Carosso has more than 30 years of experience as a licensed Child Clinical Psychologist and Certified School Psychologist working in private, inpatient, outpatient, residential, school, and home settings. He is Clinical Director of Community Psychiatric Centers (cpcwecare.com), a licensed Behavioral Health Outpatient Clinic, and operates both the Autism Center of Pittsburgh (autismcenterofpittsburgh.com) and the Dyslexia Diagnostic and Treatment Center (dyslexiatreaters.com).