Monday, August 29, 2011

15 Common Myths About Dyslexia

Most people have heard of dyslexia and might even know someone who has it, but how many really know just what kind of learning difficulties it causes? Like most learning disabilities, there are a lot of myths and bits of misinformation surrounding dyslexia, and it can sometimes be difficult to separate fact from fiction, especially for those who don’t have or don’t know much about the condition.

Whether you’re pursuing a college degree in special education, have dyslexia yourself, or know someone who does, we’ve collected some of the most common misconceptions here so you can gain a better understanding of just what it all actually means — without all the potentially damaging myths getting in the way.

  1. People with dyslexia are less intelligent

    Despite the long-standing belief that if you can’t read well, you aren’t intelligent, there is no link between dyslexia and IQ. People of all intelligence levels can have the learning disability. Contrary to popular belief, there are quite a few highly intelligent, accomplished people out there who have difficulty reading due to dyslexia. Among them? William Butler Yeats, Albert Einstein, John Irving, and Charles Schwab.

  2. Reversing letters is a definitive sign of dyslexia

    Can reversing letters hint that a child may have dyslexia? Yes. But it is also a common phenomenon among children just learning how to write. They are still honing their fine motor skills, and it often takes some time for both dyslexic and non-dyslexic kids to properly form their letters. It actually may be more telling if a student has trouble naming the letters (a much stronger indicator of dyslexia), as only 10% of the diagnosed exhibit reversal symptoms.

  3. Only a specialist can help an individual with dyslexia

    Getting professional help can be great for children with dyslexia, but it isn’t the only option. Parents have a wide variety of ways to help out at home as well, particularly involving assistance with reading, writing, homework, and feeling comfortable and valued. These efforts can be just as important as the leg up sought through schools and specialists, and parents don’t need a degree in special education — just patience and love.

  4. Girls can’t have dyslexia

    While dyslexia is more common in boys than girls (a phenomenon still baffling researchers), it is not exclusively male. In a 2004 study, 6% of girls ages three to 17 had a reading-related learning disability. It is notable, however, that some believe there is no discrepancy at all. Rather, they think the gap between diagnoses stems from differing societal gender expectations rather than actual lack of reading ability. Either way, it’s important to watch both male and female children for signs that he or she is struggling with reading.

  5. Dyslexia can be outgrown

    As children grow up, they may struggle less and less with dyslexia, as they learn new methods to improve their reading and spelling skills. The reality is, however, the learning disability will follow any child into adulthood and cannot simply be outgrown. It is a lifelong battle for many, and even those who’ve mastered these skills will still read slowly and not automatically.

  6. Dyslexia cannot be diagnosed in young children

    While some children aren’t found to have dyslexia until later, professionals and specialists in the field can accurately diagnose it as early as age five. Many schools will not test children for dyslexia before 3rd grade, wasting precious time and causing undue difficulties. Parents who believe their child may have a learning disability should pursue testing as early as possible, as an early diagnosis can help kids get the help they need before their difficulties become more pronounced.

  7. There is a cure for dyslexia

    Dyslexia is not a disease, it is an educational issue. As such, there is no cure. Individuals who have the condition cannot outgrow or get rid of their reading difficulties. They can, however, learn to overcome them, and there are number of successful treatments and programs to boost competence in reading, writing, and spelling abilities — though they may continue to struggle throughout their lives.

  8. Children with dyslexia simply lack in phonics instruction

    There is no indication that additional phonics training will help a student with dyslexia. In fact, many children with the condition already have a pretty good grasp on phonics — they just can’t apply it. Knowing how the word should be sounded out and being able to do it are two different things, and the inability to reconcile them is a key issue that many dyslexics face. While phonics tutoring can be a big help to children (and adults) with dyslexia, do not believe claims that it will cure or eliminate any difficulties.

  9. The solution for dyslexic children is to read out loud more

    Some parents and educators would like to believe that practice makes perfect, but for children with dyslexia, this method simply won’t work. Reading out loud will not teach them how to pronounce words and may push them towards other methods, like context clues, to simply guess at what the page says. Only structured tutoring and practicing phonemic awareness skills can help dyslexics improve their reading.

  10. Dyslexia is rare

    Unfortunately, dyslexia is all too common. The NIH estimates that it impacts over 20% of the U.S. population. This means one in five people will have varying degrees of difficulty writing, reading, and spelling. Often, individuals have very mild dyslexia that goes overlooked or undiagnosed and receive little assistance with their reading difficulties.

  11. It is too late to help adults with dyslexia

    While it is best for those with dyslexia to get help early on, there is never a time too late for individuals to address it. There is a wide range of training and tutoring programs that can help adults with dyslexia improve their reading skills and phonological abilities. In fact, many of the same methods used to teach children can help adults with the condition as well.

  12. Dyslexia only affects a person’s ability to read

    One of the more noticeable effects of having dyslexia is difficulty reading, but this isn’t the only ability that may be affected. Children with the condition may also struggle with sequential memory and following directions, which can make tasks like tying shoes, doing mathematics, or typing just as challenging as reading. All of which could easily cause a wide range of other challenges in an educational setting.

  13. If a child can read, he or she can’t have dyslexia

    Being able to read isn’t a sign that a child doesn’t have dyslexia. Many kids get quite good at using reading strategies like context clues, word shapes, and guessing to give the appearance of literacy. The reality is that many have auditory processing problems preventing them from hearing a word’s individual sounds, so they cannot read by sounding out the letters. When reading progresses to higher grade levels, these alternative strategies no longer work. Many kids are diagnosed with dyslexia later on, despite appearing to read fine early in life.

  14. All children with dyslexia will get help from LD programs

    Not all children with dyslexia meet the requirements for learning disability programs offered through school. In fact, many only accept those with the most severe reading difficulties. While over 80% of children with a learning disability have dyslexia, only 1 in 10 will qualify for special education. This means that parents, tutors, and help outside the school are a must for many students who struggle with reading, spelling, and writing.

  15. Children with dyslexia will never learn to read well

    Will dyslexia always affect an individual’s ability to read? Yes, but it doesn’t mean they can’t learn to become good readers and writers with a little help from tutoring and school interventions. Many people with dyslexia have gone on to become successful authors, scientists, and businesspeople, so there is no reason to believe it curses one to a life without reading — it just might prove more of a challenge for them than others.

taken From Accredited Online Colleges

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