Dysnomia: Everything You Need to Know

Dysnomia refers to a learning disability that lowers a person’s ability to remember important things such as names, words, etc. Because they’re unable to recall important information, learning activities become difficult, and their academic progress is slowed down significantly. Their use of written and oral language will be labored and can cause them to lose confidence in their abilities. Dysnomia can also make it difficult to label visual information. For instance, people with dysnomia may struggle when they don’t know an individual’s name (even though they can recognize the individual’s face). Because it’s difficult to name things, the condition often slows processing speed and interferes with memory.

Dysnomia is often considered a symptom of difficulties associated with learning concerns, executive functioning, concerns with inattention, or language processing concerns. Typically, it’s a symptom that some other concerns are occurring. If a child receives a diagnosis of only dysnomia, it’ll be important to talk to the clinician to see if other concerns such as ADHD, learning delays, or language delays have been ruled out.

Common symptoms of dysnomia include:

·         Difficulties with recall

·         Difficulty completing tasks quickly

·         Trouble naming things

·         Inconsistent recall of fundamental things like letter names or math facts, and problems on timed tests

·         Using fillers often

Delayed maturation of the prefrontal cortex, particularly those areas concerned with word-finding, is considered to cause dysnomia. Therefore, it often arises with problems regulating behavior and attention, or those observed in ADHD.

Many things can be done in the classroom to help children with dysnomia. First, parents need to ensure that their kid’s school knows about the condition. Naming ability is a precursor of reading, so difficulties with the skill can interfere with reading, writing, and other academic activities. Second, kids with dysnomia often benefit from accommodations in the classroom. These may include using cue cards or resource notebooks during exams, using multiple-choice questions during oral questioning, conducting take-home or open book exams, etc.

Because dysnomia involves difficulties accessing words and language, many people with the condition find that speech and/or language therapy can be an effective part of working through the difficulties. The therapist can teach the patient strategies to practice finding words and help to make speech production more fluent. If anxiety or symptoms of ADHD are also present with the signs of dysnomia, parents should consult with a child therapist or child psychologist who also works with those issues.

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