8 Things Everyone Should Know About Dyslexia

Dyslexia Is Real

Dyslexia is neuro-biological in origin. It is a common learning disability affecting 1 in 5 kids going to school in the US. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate word recognition, decoding, and poor spelling abilities.

Young Age

Obtaining a comprehensive evaluation and early intervention is critical. Prior to reading failure, if identified early (Pre K to Grade 1), Dyslexia can be prevented. Without intervention, children who are poor readers at the end of first grade almost never acquire average-level reading skills by the end of elementary school. Resource: Gaab Lab

Self-Esteem Can Be Low

Dyslexia can have a profound effect on self-esteem, motivation and behavior.. To avoid damage to self-concept as a learner and a person it is important to detect dyslexia early. If identification doesn’t occur, parents and teachers must celebrate their differences and see them as an ASSET. These individuals may need help to realize the competent, capable learners they are. Resource: The Dyslexic Advantage

Lifelong Language Based Learning Disability

Dyslexics are not lazy. Dyslexia is not caused by a lack of reading, rather research has proven these children have structural and functional brain differences which make their struggles real. There is no cure for Dyslexia, but with evidence-based intervention, they may be able to successfully read and write. Accommodations and modifications are usually helpful.

Explicit Teaching

We Were Not Born To Read. Children must turn circuits for spoken language into recognizing letters, which is not developed through exposure. However, typical readers’ brains are set up to develop these neural pathways whereas dyslexics brains are not. Most children need structured literacy in order to learn to read, however dyslexic’s require code-based, explicit, systematic, sequential, diagnostic and prescriptive instruction with many repetitions. Resource: Principals of Orton Gillingham

EXceptional Talents

“Recognizing and nurturing those talents goes a long way towards overcoming the obstacles. Winston Churchill, Pablo Picasso, William Butler Yeats, and Greg Louganis were all sufferers, yet became very successful. We can learn from their stories how to support learners by focusing on their strengths rather than just their challenges.” ~Dr. Linda Siegel Resources: Dyslexic Stories

IQ Spectrum Is Wide

Dyslexia is NOT an intellectual deficit. Many with Dyslexia have average or above average intelligence. While they are slow readers, they often paradoxically, are very fast and creative thinkers with strong reasoning abilities. The most common comorbid conditions include: Mathematics (Dyscalculia), ADHD, and Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). Resource: Dyslexia Comorbidities

Awareness Of Other Risk Factors

Many students with Dyslexia have poor phonological awareness and difficulty connecting sounds to print, which results in slow word perception, a delay in developing instant word reading, and poor spelling. Other risk factors include orthographic processing (the writing system of a language, including the recall of spelling patterns and words), rapid automatized naming (RAN) (quick naming of colors, objects, letters, and/or digits), and working memory (recalling and rearranging stimuli). Resource: Family Handbook IDA

Written By: Tala Brinderson

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