Dyslexia is a type of specific learning difficulty (SLD) in which the person has difficulties with language and words. Despite dyslexia’s relative prevalence, there are a lot of misconceptions that surround this disorder. So let’s just put the common misconceptions the general public has about dyslexia to REST once and for all.
1) Myth: Dyslexia does not exist. It’s just an excuse.
For all those beautiful people who believe this, there are over 30 years of documented, scientific evidence and research proving the existence of dyslexia. It is one of the most common learning disabilities to affect children. So if you are one of those parents who refuse to accept the real problem to why your child might be struggling in school – it’s about time you come out of this ignorant bubble of yours and give your kid the support they need.
2) Myth: Dyslexia is the same for everyone.
We greatly emphasize on the fact that dyslexia is NOT the same for everyone. There are different types of dyslexia, and the symptoms can vary from one person to the next.
Dyslexia for one person may be mainly difficulty in reading and spelling. On the other hand dyslexia for another person may be problems with arithmetic, poor sense of direction and map reading (directional dyslexia), difficulty in knowing left from right and a tendency to reverse words, letters or symbols in one’s speech, etc. Recognizing the right symptoms for this learning disability opens the door to remarkable progress.
3) Myth: Children with dyslexia are just lazy. They should try harder!
If there is ONE myth that we’d like to see disappear, it is this one. Lack of awareness about the disorder among educators and parents has often resulted in the child being branded as “lazy.” This one single myth can bring the child’s self-esteem down which may lead to major confidence issues as they grow up. Dyslexics are far from lazy. Their brains work five times harder than others doing the same task. This can be a very frustrating and exhausting for them, which can cause a student with dyslexia to give up on tasks before other children. In short, we must #Build them up. Not bring them down by providing them with the right support they need.
4) Myth: Smart people cannot be dyslexic or have a learning disability.
LOL! Dyslexia and intelligence are NOT connected. You must have clearly heard of Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Pablo Picasso, Leonardo Da Vinci, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison. All of them were dyslexics who achieved great success in their fields.
According to the International Dyslexia Association, dyslexics have average to above average intelligence but are unable to read at a level commensurate with their intelligence level.
5) Myth: Dyslexia can be outgrown.
No No No! Dyslexia is a neurological condition that cannot be outgrown. However, since dyslexia is often a self-compensating disorder it can be overcome with time, effort and the right treatment. Intervention at an early age does help remediate their ability to read, spell, and write as well as minimize the adverse effects dyslexia can have.
6) Myth: People with dyslexia cannot read.
INCORRECT! Most children and adults with dyslexia can read, even if it is at a basic level. The problem is the effort required to read. Dyslexics have difficulty with decoding longer, multi-syllable words despite instructions in phonics.
7) Myth: People with dyslexia see letters reversed.
This is probably the most common misconception people have about dyslexia. The thing is dyslexics do not actually see letters reversed – dyslexia is not a problem with the eyes. Research has demonstrated that there is no difference between the letter reversals of young dyslexic and non-dyslexic children. Dyslexia may cause people to reverse certain words because of their confusion when discerning between left and right and their difficulties comprehending their reading.
8) Myth: Most teachers know the warning signs of dyslexia, so they can alert a parent if their child is showing symptoms.
It would be amazing if this were true but unfortunately, most classroom teachers have not had formal training in identifying dyslexia. Since there are so many different types and severities of a learning disability that could potentially be in a classroom at a given time it is difficult for one teacher to be an expert and identify all of the needs of the students.
Therefore, if your child is struggling in school and not achieving the desired results even after putting in a considerable amount of effort in their work – we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of dyslexia or other learning disabilities and talk to your child’s teacher and building principal about it. Once you identify the real problem you have the right to request for additional help, and, if necessary, a special education referral for a suspected learning disability (LD).