Reversing letters, not being able to remember the sequence of letters in a word or sometimes reading from right to left — dyslexia is a frustrating problem in our world of high-tech communications. Edublox compiled a list of 20 facts about this learning disorder.
- The term was coined and introduced in 1884 by the German ophthalmologist, Rudolf Berlin. The term comes from the Greek words dys, meaning ill or difficult, and lexis, meaning word.
- Dyslexia is a common problem. According to a Yale study 1 out of 5 people suffer from dyslexia.
- Like hypertension, this disorder can vary in severity. The terms mild, moderate and severe are commonly used to describe the degree.
- Symptoms are many and varied. These may include reversals (confusing b and d); mirror writing (reading ‘was’ as ‘saw’); putting letters in the wrong order (reading ‘felt’ as ‘left’); elisions (reading ‘cat’ for ‘cart’); reading very slowly and hesitantly; and reading with poor comprehension. There are many others.
- People with dyslexia often have difficulties with spelling. Spelling proficiency is related to visual memory capacity.
- Despite popular belief, dyslexics do not see letters and words backward. Reversals and mirror writing are the result of a processing deficit.
- There are two main types. Dyslexia related to visual-processing weaknesses are called dyseidetic dyslexia, while a reading disability associated with auditory-processing difficulties are referred to as dysphonetic dyslexia.
- There are two separate brain areas involved in learning to read: one in sounding out words, and the other in seeing words as pictures. In dysphonetic dyslexia the sounding out area tends to not work well, and in dyseidetic dyslexia the picture area.
- Dyslexia is linked to slow processing speed. Drivers with dyslexia are 20 percent slower to react to traffic signs during rural drives and 30 percent slower to react in the city, than drivers without dyslexia.
- Many dyslexics have trouble with sequencing, i.e. perceiving something in sequence and also remembering the sequence.
- They often have deficits in auditory working memory. When dyslexic musicians were compared to their nondyslexic counterparts in auditory processing tasks, they scored the same, but performed much worse on tests of auditory working memory. The dyslexic musicians with the poorest auditory working memory tended to have the lowest reading accuracy.
- People with dyslexia have poor long-term memory. Sixty dyslexic children were compared to 65 age-matched normal readers on verbal, visual-spatial and visual-object tasks. Results documented a generalized impairment of long-term memory capacities in dyslexic children.
- Dyslexia is not tied to IQ. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology observed poor readers of all IQ levels and found no difference between the way poor readers with or without dyslexia think while reading.
- Lack of awareness often result in the child being branded as “lazy.” The truth is that many children with dyslexia are bright, motivated, and may spend hours on homework assignments.
- Dyslexia runs in families. Parents with dyslexia are very likely to have children with dyslexia.
- Dyslexia can sometimes make it difficult for a person to learn in the traditional sense. But it is not a disease or something that needs a cure. With appropriate teaching methods, people with dyslexia can learn successfully.
- Accommodations are not the same thing as instruction. Once a child has a dyslexia diagnosis, they may be eligible for accommodations, such as extended times on tests. While accommodations might improve grades, they are not a replacement for intervention. Accommodations will not teach a child to read or spell.
- Reading out loud for 20 minutes per day will not improve a child’s reading. Reading out loud will not help a child sound out unknown words.
- Start the right interventions early to prevent academic and emotional problems. Have you ever read about how much easier it is to learn a second language when you are young? The same is true for reading!
- Your child can make it! A few wrong turns don’t dictate a child’s life. People with dyslexia are succeeding all the time in just about any and every profession you can think of.
Real help for dyslexia –