Indicators of SpLD Series
by Jan Thomson-Long
Hearing and Dyslexia
He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Dyslexia is primarily a difficulty with words on the page. With problems in learning the skills required to read the words and spell them accurately and fluently.
However, the difficulty may lie before the reading stage. There could be a hearing difficulty, because if you can’t hear the sound, you wouldn’t be able to easily replicate it without support. The hearing issue could be temporary such as glue ear or something more permanent requiring hearing aids. Either of these could delay speech and language development.
Other complications for example forming speech sounds can mean that a speech and language intervention is needed.
If the person is multi-lingual there could be confusions with regards to learning both languages. In the long run being multi-lingual is a fantastic ability but during early schooling it can cause a few extra difficulties.
Auditory processing disorder (APD) is where someone has difficulty understanding sounds, including spoken words. This is not a hearing problem but one where the person struggles with loud background noises, fast talkers, people with strong accents, spoken instructions and similar sounding words.
It is important for an assessor to be aware if the individual has had any hearing or speech and language issues as they can be both explanations for delays in acquiring the required reading and spelling skills or indicators of dyslexia dependent upon the circumstances.