Is Dyslexia in your DNA?

dyslexia awareness week
In a typical class of 30 children, approximately 2 to 6 children will be affected by Dyslexia. Genes have a very strong influence on children's reading abilities, and on whether they are likely to develop a reading disorder. 

Large studies conducted over the past decade show that multiple genes, rather than a single gene, influence reading ability. Therefore, it is understandable that children who have a parent or sibling with reading problems are more likely to have a reading disorder.

So how does that affect parents and children, siblings and especially twins?

For identical twins Mary and Olive, mum Emma first noticed differences in kindy.  “It was something I was conscious of because I had difficulty learning to read as a child.”

“Both girls have been very different and we have had a different approach because of that. “

“Mary loves animals and adores our pet dogs Buddy and Zoe. Both love using their scooters and roller skating and Olive absolutely loves music.”

“I can say that while we have been very fortunate to have wonderful teachers the whole way through. As a parent it was not until the COVID isolation (for us), lockdowns and the dreaded home school that really opened our eyes to the difficulties the girls were having…each very differently. “

We sought support from school and also arranged for the girls to attend the Literacy Clinic at SPELD SA.

Emma considers herself lucky to have known where to go to seek help, having known about SPELD SA through family friends, as well as school and work.

“We have noticed lots of growth. One of our girls was having more difficulty despite the input and we arranged for her to have a psychology learning assessment and she was diagnosed with Dyslexia.”

Studies focusing on twins show that the chances of both twins having Dyslexia are higher for identical twins than for non-identical twins.


Dyslexia Awareness Month

It’s timely, October being Dyslexia Awareness Month, to highlight that while a diagnosis can be helpful, the most important thing is that you don’t have to wait for an assessment to begin intervention.  Intervening with literacy support at an early age is key.

“The impact for us as a family has been huge. The girls are now each making steady gains at the level and pace that is right for them. And we as parents feel more empowered to help them achieve their literacy goals. It has been a learning journey for the family also as how we were taught is different to the knowledge and evidence available now.”

Members library at SPELD SA
Members library at SPELD SA

“Whilst one of the girls has been assessed as having dyslexia the intervention has been working with her sister too so I don’t feel I need to get her assessed at this stage”.

“The goal is for them to enjoy and feel confident reading and writing.”

SPELD SA helps children with Dyslexia and other learning difficulties via one-to-one support through their Sounds~Write Literacy Clinic, educational consults, assessments, tutoring, parent workshops and many books and resources through their library and bookshop.


You may also like