Dyslexia The best kept secret in education

It seems like something that impacts 1 in 5 people in our society would be something that is discussed commonly, and something on which knowledge would abound. Right?

Wrong. The reality is that our peers both in and out of education have little background knowledge about one of the most researched language-based learning disabilities. It causes problems. Big problems.

Dyslexia represents the most common and prevalent of all known learning disabilities.

Lack of knowledge and experience leads to misconceptions. Misconceptions are harmful.

Misconception #1 - Dyslexia is just confusion of b and d. Too many people believe that dyslexia is simply reversing the letters b and d. This causes all kinds of problems, because the truth is that severe dyslexia can render a person illiterate if intervention is never provided. Because of the misconception of “only reversals” dyslexia does not come up as a possible cause for children who are struggling significantly. It is imperative to know the signs, and what dyslexia looks like, so that appropriate interventions are provided. And what if it is “just” reversing letters…how fun would that be?

“Bod went puietly bown the stairs to dod some bodcorn for the kids.”

Dyslexia is identifiable, with 92% accuracy, at ages 5 1/2 to 6 1/2.

Misconception #2 - Dyslexia only impacts reading. Dyslexia most likely does impact some element of reading or core language. Reading fluency, comprehension, spelling and writing are common skills that fall victim to dyslexia at some point in a student’s life. A much bigger impact of dyslexia can be the social and emotional toll that it takes on a child. For a young child to be met with failure the first day they walk into school, and have failure be a continual state of affairs for them is damaging…very damaging. Students who fall victim to undiagnosed dyslexia often struggle with behavioral issues, and sometimes even truancy or dropping out of school.

40% of self-made millionaires have dyslexia.

Misconception #3 - Dyslexia looks the same for all students. No two people are alike, therefore dyslexia may not look exactly alike, even in siblings. A student that did not appear to experience any learning difficulty in elementary school can suddenly start to feel pressure to keep up in class, and maintain their grades. A student with an excellent GPA in high school, might suffer in college. In hindsight, the signs or red flags are there, but they didn't get noticed because the student had been able to accommodate for themselves until the workload became too much to bear.

70% of prisoners fall into the lowest two levels of reading proficiency.

Dyslexia is somebody’s fault.

Parents that didn’t read to the child enough when they were little.

Teachers didn’t teach well enough.

The students isn’t trying hard enough.

These phrases are so damaging, it is incomprehensible. Finger pointing and placing blame add to the damage that is already being done. It keeps adults from seeking and finding true answers that can make a difference. If language acquisition as we traditionally think of it is going to happen for a child, it begins early. Loving and caring parents do not cause dyslexia. To impair the language development of a child so significantly that it would create a need for remediation, would only pertain to a serious case of abuse.

Dyslexia does not determine the future. You are going to be AMAZING.

Sources: National Institute of Health Results, NoticeAbility.org, National Institute for Literacy


Created with images by AKPhotographics - "mirroring puddle building" • Thought Catalog - "Taking notes with a pencil" • AdinaVoicu - "girl toddler long hair" • Alan Light - "Graduation" • Cole Patrick - "untitled image"

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