Stealth Dyslexia is a type of particular learning disability that is relatively new. It is slightly different from regular dyslexia. Students or people with stealth dyslexia have problems sounding words and decoding them in their brains. But that does not necessarily mean that they are extremely underperforming in their respective careers. They are infact extremely genius and intellectually gifted.
What exactly is Stealth Dyslexia?
The term “Stealth Dyslexia” was first coined by DRS Fernette and Brock Eide to demonstrate the exact difference between normal dyslexia and stealth dyslexia. Dyslexia is defined by the International Dyslexia Association as “a specific learning disability…characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition, as well as poor spelling and decoding abilities… reading comprehension issues and a lack of reading experience.
Students with stealth dyslexia go unnoticed till the age of 13-14 years when they are finally diagnosed with Stealth Dyslexia. This is because people with this type of dyslexia especially children are extremely genius enough to hide their problems with word recognition, decoding abilities and paragraph reading. As a result, this type of dyslexia is known as stealth dyslexia as people with this disability easily mask their problems and seem completely normal.
Students with Stealth Dyslexia may underperform in their studies but they are intelligent enough to not fail in their respective classes.
How is Stealth Dyslexia different from Normal Dyslexia?
Although people diagnosed with Stealth Dyslexia may face the same symptoms just like someone who has normal dyslexia, there is a major difference between both. Stealth Dyslexia can be regarded as a milder version of normal dyslexia where the symptoms mostly go unnoticed till a certain age.
Stealth Dyslexia is very rare and generally remains unnoticed for a longer time compared to normal dyslexia. Children with stealth dyslexia are way more intelligent than children with normal dyslexia as they tend to hide their decoding problems and may sound completely normal sometimes.
This is because they have immense “copying” capabilities. Children with Stealth Dyslexia may underperform in their classes just like any other average student but would never fail because of their intelligence levels.
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How to know if your child has Stealth Dyslexia? (Symptoms)
Generally, students, children, or people with stealth dyslexia have extremely high thinking skills along with a very powerful brain system. They are said to be blessed with intelligence and thinking powers. This type of dyslexia remains undetected for a very long time as they consciously or sub-unconsciously don’t allow their disability to come into focus. Under such circumstances, it becomes very hard for you as a parent to understand whether your child has stealth dyslexia or not. But worry no more as here are some symptoms that will help you understand whether your child has stealth dyslexia or not.
- Interested in reading new words and pronouncing them loudly.
- Their pronunciation accuracy is not clear (tend to be wayward and slow when they cannot pronounce properly)
- Check your child’s writing speed.
- Focus on the spelling mistakes by your child
- Short attention span, may sometimes seem careless under certain situations
- Problems in sounding words
- Avoiding reading and solving problems
If any of the symptoms mentioned above match with your child’s, make sure to immediately consult a neuropsychologist who can confirm whether your child has stealth dyslexia or not.
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Possible treatments for Stealth Dyslexia
Although there are no magical specific tests that can diagnose Stealth Dyslexia, a neuropsychologist will definitely help you to confirm it. It is always recommended to follow your neuropsychologist’s advice regarding the treatment of Stealth Dyslexia. For educational purposes, there are certain steps that you can take to cure your child’s stealth dyslexia problem.
1. There are certain educational techniques and approaches that focus on making your child perfect. Evaluations of your child’s reading skills, other academic skills, and mental health will assist teachers in developing an individual teaching program for your child. This teaching program includes enhancing the decoding of words and paragraphs, text-to-speech readers for long paragraphs, recognizing letters, understanding words, improving accuracy and speed of pronunciation and so on.
2. Consult your school for specialized education for your child. Schools in the United States are required by law to assist children with dyslexia with their learning difficulties. Speak with your child’s teacher about scheduling a meeting to develop a structured, written plan outlining your child’s needs and how the school will assist your child in succeeding. This is referred to as an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
3. It is always better to treat this problem as early as possible. Consult a doctor or a pediatric neurologist as soon as you find your child associated with this problem.
4. Being a parent it’s your duty to provide your child with moral support always. Stealth Dyslexia shouldn’t be looked down upon as a mental condition, rather make your child understand that he/she is special with some extraordinary psychic powers. Always be supportive and assist your child in every format possible. Be it by reading along with him/her to improve pronunciation or helping him/her to understand certain words.
5. Last but not least, always set a practice time for your child. Practice makes everyone perfect.
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Stealth Dyslexia just like our normal dyslexia should not be looked down upon as a disability or a mental health disease. Handling children with care and love and focusing on how to treat this problem by consulting a healthcare professional is very important. The problem with stealth dyslexia is that it remains undetected for quite a long time and with growing time it becomes a major problem if it remains untreated. So starting to solve the problem immediately is very important. Stealth dyslexia is not a lifetime condition rather recent studies prove that our brain works like a muscle that is if exercised it remembers the new things taught. So the treatment of this type of dyslexia is always open.