Dyslexia can mean having trouble with reading, writing, spelling, handwriting, or even math. Pretty broad, right? Our society has a pretty strict set of rules about what we think it means to be dyslexic , especially for a term that has been used in so many different ways during just this past century.
Let’s talk about some of these “rules” and how we can go about debunking these preconceived notions of what it means to be dyslexic:
Myth number one: If you have dyslexia, you should probably exercise more
Everyone should probably exercise more. But don’t expect it to make reading easier.
Students with dyslexia may need strategies for developing their vocabulary, reading comprehension and writing. According to Dr. Pierson, many people make claims as to how to treat dyslexia, but according to her, the only way is through a structured literary approach.
Myth number two: If you have dyslexia, you are probably a boy
Boys’ reading disabilities are indeed identified more often than girls’, but studies indicate that such identification is biased.
So what explains the difference diagnosed by professionals? A unfair interpretation of what one expects it to look like. Largely, it’s because of their behavior. It seems when boys in first, second, or third grade can’t do classroom assignments or homework, they get frustrated and act out their frustration. Researchers found that girls tend to quietly muddle through challenges while boys become more rowdy. Therefore, more boys tend to be recognized and diagnosed.
Myth number three: If you have dyslexia, you probably read backwards.
For many, this is a textbook definition for dyslexia.
But, while reversing certain letters like b’s and d’s can be a sign, it’s not accurate that all kids who reverse letters are dyslexic. Dyslexics do not see things backwards because it is not a problem with the eyes. New research has demonstrated that letter reversals of kindergarten children predicted spelling at 2nd grade. While, typical learners can reverse letters when initially learning.
Myth number four: If you have dyslexia, you probably have a low IQ
There is absolutely no relation between dyslexia and IQ. Dyslexics can have high, middle, or low IQ’s just like the rest of the population.
In fact, many dyslexic students perform very well in school. These students are usually highly motivated and work extremely hard. In many cases they have been identified early and have received evidence-based interventions and accommodations, such as extra time on tests. Theses accommodations allows them to demonstrate their knowledge. Dyslexic students have completed rigorous programs at highly selective colleges, graduate and professional schools.
Need proof? Here’s 7 people with dyslexia who are extremely successful.
Myth number five: If you have dyslexia, it is probably a medical diagnosis
Actually, Dyslexia is neurological, not medical. It’s not characterized as a medical problem and is not typically diagnosed by doctors because they don’t have training in oral language, reading, writing, or spelling assessment and diagnosis.
Rather, dyslexia is typically diagnosed by a neuropsychologist, psychologist, or someone with advanced training in language and learning disorders.
“Because dyslexia involves reading and writing, it’s not typically identified until people go to school and have to learn and write” Dr. Pierson, from the University of Michigan, says.
There is no pill or medication that can heal dyslexia, and nothing to do with it is covered by medical insurance because it is not a medical problem.
There are far too many myths and stereotypes to cover in one blog post, but understanding these top five legends, is a good start.
In the United States, dyslexia affects 20%, or 1 in every 5 people. Some people may have more mild forms, while others may experience it more severely. It is imperative for schools and parents to take action. To do so, we must eradicate unfair preconceived notions about this neurological difficulty.