In general, it is not possible to accurately diagnose a learning disability such as dyslexia in toddlers.
This is because children at this stage show a wide range of developmental trajectories, and while they may be behind in some areas, there are many who catch up with and even surpass developmental expectations as they age.
Still, it can be helpful for parents to know early speech and language markers to help their child develop as robustly as possible.
How to recognize dyslexia signs in toddlers?
Does your child:
- Answers simple questions nonverbally (shaking head “no”)
- Uses short phrases (e.g., “all done”)
- Labels common objects in her vicinity
- Name items in pictures (e.g., baby, dog, bottle etc.)
- Imitate simple words
- Pretend to read by turning the pages (even if she babbles)
- Ask for common foods by name
- Makes animal sounds, such as “moo”
- Combines words “more milk”
- Begins to use pronouns, such as “mine”
- More accurate speech and sound production
- Answers simple questions
How do toddlers communicate?
The essential area of development in this stage is interactive communication. For one year olds, this often entails using 1-word “mands” (asking for something i.e., “milk”) or “tacts” (labeling something in their vicinity i.e., “doggie”) with a connected eye contact.
In this communication, the child will often look at the item and then look back at the parent to indicate their desire and to direct the parent’s attention. This can also be done non-verbally with pointing or gesturing, as well as using crying or whining with the connected eye contact or gesture.
How is hearing connected to learning disabilities
For children this age, it is important for parents to watch out for ear infections in their children which can sometimes lead to future learning disabilities. During this critical period in the first couple years of life, children begin to map what sounds they hear and can produce. Neuropsychologically, this allows their brain to become fine-tuned at perceiving the various sounds of their home language to be able to understand and communicate with those around them.
However, many children have difficulty hearing during their toddler years due to ear infections which affect their auditory functioning.
This causes a fluid buildup within the ear that muffles the sounds they perceive. If left unchecked for an extended period, ear infections can cause a delay in the development of these essential sound recognition abilities and lead to future difficulties with reading.
Dyslexia Evaluations With Dr. Malkin
Although it may not be possible to accurately diagnose dyslexia in toddlers, a dyslexia evaluation with Dr. Malkin can identify if your child or teen has a learning disability. He determines the cause or causes of the condition with a comprehensive assessment, as well as provides guidance to determine the most effective learning styles for your child’s needs. Dr. Malkin helps you maximize your student’s strengths to help them achieve and succeed.
Source: Dyslexia In Toddlers – NeuroPsych Doctor