Many jobs require that a person is able to read, and people with certain types of learning disorders might find it more difficult to do some types of jobs. Dyslexia is one type of learning disorder that can make it more difficult for people to be able to do jobs that require that they’re able to read things quickly and accurately. Anyone who is struggling with dyslexia or who has a friend or family member who struggles with it should be aware of what they can do to get the disability benefits that they need to continue to pay the bills.
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that is characterized by difficulties with reading and related activities. The difficulties stem from problems with identifying speech sounds and how those sounds relate to letters and words. Dyslexia occurs in the language areas of the brain.
There are some misconceptions about people with dyslexia, namely that they have problems with vision or are of less intelligence than their peers. In reality, people with dyslexia are no more likely to have vision problems than anyone else, and they’re almost always of average intelligence. People with dyslexia are also capable of having success in school when given the right types of help.
There isn’t a cure for dyslexia, but people who have it should get early intervention to have the best possible outcomes.
One of the most influential factors in who has dyslexia is genetics, with certain genes affecting how language is processed. But environmental factors might also contribute to dyslexia.
Some other factors beyond family history of dyslexia and other types of learning disorders include premature birth or low birth weight, exposure to nicotine, alcohol, or other types of drugs in the womb, and an infection while in the womb, which could affect the development of the brain.
Additionally, people with dyslexia are at an increased risk of also having ADHD. And children who don’t receive adequate services to help them with their dyslexia run an increased risk of having social problems and having more problems as adults because they were unable to reach their full potential in school.
Symptoms of Dyslexia
The exact symptoms that someone exhibits will depend on the age. But just because a young child is exhibiting some symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s attributable to dyslexia, especially if the symptoms are exhibited when a child is of a particularly young age. For instance, some young children under the age of school age will be late in talking, will learn new words slowly, have difficulties playing nursery rhyme games, have problems remembering numbers, letters, and colors, and have a tendency to reverse sounds and confuse words that sound similar.
The symptoms of children who are of school age will be even more pronounced. Most notably, children will read well below the reading level of their peers. Because of their difficulties with reading, they’re also more likely to avoid activities that involve reading, spend longer amount of time completing tasks that involve reading or writing, have difficulties with spelling, and have difficulties sounding out and pronouncing unfamiliar words. They might also have problems with finding the right words to answer questions and have problems remembering the sequence of things.
Teens and adults will continue to struggle with reading and will likely avoid activities that involve this activity. Additionally, they’re more likely to have difficulties summarizing stories, struggle with learning a foreign language, and have difficulties memorizing things.
Treatment for Dyslexia
Because there’s no cure for dyslexia, the best option is to get children early intervention so that they can learn in school with the help of other types of assistance. Much of the early intervention comes from the school system, and educators within schools will use a variety of techniques to help students with dyslexia learn their materials and learn about how to work around their dyslexia.
Many exercises that are designed to help improve reading skills will be used. Some of the skills that an educator practices with a child will be activities involving recognizing phonemes so that the child becomes better at stringing small units of sound together to create words. Additionally, they’ll work on reading comprehension, and they’ll work to improve overall fluency. Finally, educators work with children with dyslexia to increase their vocabulary of words that they can instantly recognize.
On the whole, it’s also important to recognize the importance of early intervention and the educator’s responsibility to provide individualized plans of treatment. Children who are diagnosed and helped in kindergarten or first grade have better overall outcomes than children who are diagnosed in the later grades.
Additionally, there are several ways that parents can help their children, including having reading time, setting an example for reading, reading to their children, and working with the child’s school to learn what the teachers are doing and how they can further help their child.
Adults with dyslexia should seek help with improving their reading skills even if they’re well out of the traditional school age. People with dyslexia can also talk to their employers to learn about any types of special accommodations that they can get.
Disability Benefits for Dyslexia
In the past, getting disability benefits for dyslexia was difficult because there wasn’t a listing and it was generally not considered disabling enough to warrant disability benefits. But more recently, in 2017, the SSA added a listing for learning disabilities, and dyslexia is covered under the listing along with other learning disorders like ADHD, Tourette’s syndrome, and dyscalculia.
There are some criteria that the applicant has to meet in order to be eligible for disability benefits, including having severe difficulties with academic learning. Additionally, the applicant must have a severe limitation in at least one of the following areas or marked limitations in at least two of the following areas.
One of the criteria they could meet is an inability to learn and follow procedures, interpret instruction, and answer questions completely with explanation. Another possibility is if the applicant has difficulties interacting appropriately, such as asking for help when needed and keep interactions with other free of too much sensitivity and irritability. They might also be able to get disability benefits if they show that they’re unable to concentrate on tasks and continue with the set pace. Finally, the last potential criteria is an inability to adapt and manage themselves. For instance, being unable to control behavior, manage their emotions, and protect themselves from harm might also be a criteria.
More often than not, dyslexia doesn’t impact every area of a person’s life, and there are still other types of jobs that a person with dyslexia can do without having to worry about being able to read. In order to get disability benefits, the applicant has to be able to show that they cannot even do unskilled labor because of their disability.
How We Can Help
There are several ways in which the team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law can help you receive the benefit you deserve. We help individuals who need to…
- Apply for Social Security Benefits and want to ensure everything is done right the first time
- Appeal a denial of Social Security Disability Benefits
- Appeal an existing denial of Long Term Disability (LTD) Benefits
If you are facing one of these situations due to Dyslexia, please do not hesitate in reaching out. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to help, and your consultation is free.