Dyslexia. It’s a word that many parents dread when they hear it in reference to their own children. Dyslexia never goes away. Dyslexia is not something one can outgrow as it is hereditary and lifelong. There is no medication to mitigate the symptoms. What’s worse is that it is an invisible disability which (if undiagnosed) subjects the individual to lots of misunderstanding and criticism.
October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. To kickoff dyslexia awareness month, here’s 5 things you should absolutely know about dyslexia.
1. Dyslexia Is RealDespite popular misconception, dyslexia is very common and affects one in five people—that’s up to 20 percent of the population. Dyslexia is a neurobiological difference in the brain that makes reading and writing more difficult to learn.
2. Dyslexia Is More Than Seeing Letters BackwardsHow was that? Frustrating? Slow? What was the paragraphs about? Don’t know? Why not? Did your difficulty understanding that sentence have anything to do with your intelligence? This is how someone with dyslexia experiences this frustration every time they read.
3. They Are Visual ThinkersThey learn by pictures and hands-on experiences. Perhaps it is one of the reasons why many excel in lab sciences. They remembers visual concepts better than reading it.
4. Dyslexia Is A Language-Based Learning DisabilityDyslexia is neither a vision problem nor about intelligence and definitely not about laziness. People with dyslexia have trouble mapping letters onto sounds and vice versa. They usually have a hard time reading and also struggle with spelling, writing and even pronouncing words.
5. The Shame That Accompanies Dyslexia Can Be ParalyzingIt is because of the fact that they are aware of others doing better than them in terms of reading and writing without much effort, which slowly destroys their self-esteem over time. They must capitalize on their strengths and interest and promote their talents with activities. Art, music, sports, designing, building and science are typical areas of strength. Having success and recognition for their strength is extremely crucial for adult productivity and happiness.
One doesn’t simply ‘suffer’ from dyslexia. They live with it and learn to work with it. After all, Albert Einstein (‘suffered’ from dyslexia himself) rightly said, ”Everybody is a GENIUS. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”