October is Dyslexia Awareness Month in the US. In honor of this, as the homeschooling mother of a dyslexic, I thought I’d share the following info. I share this because I wish someone had mentioned the “D” word to me much earlier!
These are the basics I wish I’d known when my son was 5!
-- Dyslexia is a learning/reading difficulty that is neuro-biological in origin –different “wiring” patterns that can be seen in fMRIs of pre-readers at risk for dyslexia and that remain in fMRIs of reading dyslexics.
-- It is often concurrent with a set of strengths in areas of spatial, integrative, or dynamic reasoning (think engineering, art, architecture, story-telling). (Theorized to be based on those neural-structural differences in the brain.)
-- Dyslexics are generally of average to above average intelligence, it can co-occur with other issues, and it tends to run in families.
-- Estimates are that from 10-20% of the population is dyslexic. Only about 5% of children in schools are being diagnosed with dyslexia. Many adults are undiagnosed and unaware of their dyslexia (though not of the challenges it presents).
-- It is not just reversing letters; not all dyslexics reverse letters – it involves difficulties with any number of visual and/or auditory processing skills. Its severity can vary from very mild to very severe. Few educators are trained to recognize it – this is slowly changing due to recent national legislation.
-- It is not developmental and dyslexics do not “grow out” of their dyslexia. It is also not preventable in the conventional sense of that word. However, learning to read can be easier for many the earlier their dyslexia is diagnosed and understood.
-- No two dyslexics are exactly alike anymore than two typical learners are.
-- Most dyslexics can learn to overcome their particular weaknesses or play to their strengths, but it may take them a lot longer than their typical-learning peers to do so. Processing speed remains a great challenge. This is why diagnosis and accommodations under the ADA can be so important for dyslexics, especially if they’re college-bound.
-- An estimated 50% of the prison population is dyslexic. Dropping out of school is correlated with reading level and with juvenile delinquency. And yet 30% of successful entrepreneurs are also dyslexic. (Insert my opinion here = Dyslexia awareness is a community issue and dyslexics need help, support and mentors from anyone who can recognize them and their strengths.)
-- Nothing about dyslexia is quite as simple as I’ve listed.
Here are some beginning resources. It’s not as cut and dry as any of these state, but if you know someone who has learning or reading difficulties, it’s a place to start.http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/get-involved-and-fundraising/dyslexia-awareness-week.htmlhttp://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/files/DAW-pack-schools.pdfhttp://dyslexicadvantage.com/
-- focuses on the advantages of the dyslexic brain typehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_diagnosed_with_dyslexia
-- this includes famous scientists and inventors and of course is not a complete list of famous dyslexics.http://www.dyslexia.yale.edu/https://www.learningally.org/d.....learning-difference/http://www.interdys.org/DyslexiaAwarenessMonth2012.htm