diagnosing kids: recent publications

The Defining Signs of Dyslexia Too Often Ignored

Perhaps the most broadly recognized learning disability, dyslexia is defined as a difficulty with spelling and word recognition. While some individuals with dyslexia do read words backwards, this condition manifests differently in different people; it is complex.

Symptoms of dyslexia vary from difficulty breaking down words into syllables to trouble with the accuracy, fluency, and comprehension of the material being read.Diagnostic tools like the Gray Oral Reading Test can determine if a person has dyslexia. But first parents and teachers must learn the following signs of dyslexia so they can consult a specialist.[Take the Test for Dyslexia in Children][Take the Dyslexia Test for Adults]Problems associated with dyslexia at school or at work may leave a child or adult feeling stupid or slow and may lead to social isolation.

People with ADHD and dyslexia are a high risk for being bullied, and that can lead to chronic stress — which may manifest in physical ways for children. Social symptoms including:For students with undiagnosed dyslexia, everyday schooling is like being taught in a foreign language.

When school administrators require that student to repeat a grade — still in the same foreign language, it can teach a child that no matter what she does, or how hard she tries, she will not succeed. This feeling can lead to mental health problems.[Click to Read: Learning Disabilities Aren’t Just for Kids]Strictly speaking, dyslexia is not hazardous to the health.

But when dyslexia symptoms are left unidentified and interventions missed, it can cause psychological, academic, and professional harm. Yet, studies show that, when symptoms are identified early, children exude a strong sense of control and confidence; their scores

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AAP Recommends Mental Health Screening for All U.S. Youth
June 22, 2022Pediatricians should perform mental health screenings on all children and adolescents, evaluating for depression, anxiety, and suicide risk, says a new draft recommendation issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).1 A response to the growing mental health crisis among youth, this AAP guidance recommends screening adolescents ages 12 and up for major depressive disorder and youths ages 8 and up for anxiety, even in the absence of documented symptoms.Earlier this year, the AAP recommended universal screening for all kids age 12 and older for suicide risk; for kids aged eight 8 to 11, screening was recommended only when “clinically indicated,” such as when warning signs were present.John Piacentini, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA, called the AAP draft recommendation important because “anxiety in children is often less easily identified than other disorders, such as ADHD, which can delay treatment.” Left untreated, he said, anxiety is associated with increased risk of depression, self-harm, substance use, and other health risks in later life.The AAP joined the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in drafting the screening recommendations and in noting a need for further research on evaluating younger children for mental health conditions.