Before discussing some common misconceptions pertaining to dyslexia lets first understand exactly what it is. According to Understood.org dyslexia is a condition that affects the brains ability to process written and spoken language. Dyslexia does not negatively affect ones intellectual abilities. On the contrary, individuals with dyslexia are often very creative and have a gift for thinking outside the box. Some of these creative thinkers are names you might know like director Steven Spielberg, actress Whoopi Goldberg, Albert Einstein, and author Dav Pilkey who created the Captain Underpants books. Having dyslexia simply means that you will be learning everything a little differently then your peers, and that is not a bad thing! Now lets discuss some of the common misconceptions pertaining to dyslexia.
- Dyslexia is very uncommon.
-Dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, spelling, and writing difficulties in the United States.
-70%-80% of all people with poor reading skills are likely to be dyslexic.
-It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia.
-Over 40 million American Adults are dyslexic, yet only 2 million know it!
-Dyslexia runs in families
- Children with dyslexia just see and write their letters backwards.
Dyslexia is so much more than ones ability to see and write letters the correct way. Some people refer to dyslexia as a reading disorder or a reading disability, but in all actuality it affects writing, spelling and even speaking. Dyslexia affects the brains ability to process written and spoken language, which means it utilizes more steps to make connections. When reading the dyslexic brain has a difficult time matching letters seen on the page with the correct sounds those letters make, and then trying to combine those letters together to create the word is extremely challenging. When dealing with spoken language dyslexics can have a hard time understanding other people’s speech, verbally creating proper sentences, and utilizing new vocabulary for their everyday language.
- Reading and writing are the only things affected by dyslexia.
Individuals with dyslexia may struggle with executive functioning skills like planning and prioritizing, keeping time, concentrating with other noise in the room, and staying organized. However on the bright side, dyslexia also produces individuals that excel in the areas of art, computer science, design, drama, electronics, math, mechanics, music, physics, sales and sports. In fact, according to Austin Learning Solutions over 50% of NASA employees are dyslexic!
- Dyslexia is something that people get over.
Dyslexia is the way the brain processes written and spoken language, which means that dyslexic individuals will be living with this their entire lives. However, with appropriate teaching methods and interventions, students with dyslexia can learn, grow, and become as successful as they desire.
- There are limited therapies for dyslexia.
Currently there are many effective programs available that specifically help dyslexic students. Some of these programs are Wilson, Fundations, and LiPS (Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program for reading spelling and speech). Many public educational systems are incorporating these phonics programs into their everyday use while some are used primarily by specialists to specifically help dyslexia students. Linda Mood-Bell has a wonderful website full of information for parents who would like to further their knowledge in dyslexia (lindamoodbell.com). If you are concerned that your child may be dyslexic you should contact a Speech and Language Pathologist to clarify further questions or concerns you may have.
Sources: AustinLearningSolutions.com , Understood.org, DyslexiaHealth.com, lindamoodbell.com, dyslexia.yale.edu