What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a learning difference which is characterized by difficulty with reading fluently, the correct spelling of words, learning other languages, and more. However, dyslexia does not affect the intelligence of the individual and often people affected tend to be more creative and better logical thinkers.
Dyslexia is very common. According to the European Dyslexia Association, 9 – 12% worldwide are affected. This makes dyslexia the most common learning disorder, contrasting the lack of support for people with dyslexia and understanding of it. (“What is Dyslexia”; Mori)
The underlying mechanisms of dyslexia result from differences within the brain’s language processing. Dyslexia is diagnosed through a series of tests of memory, vision, spelling, and reading skills.
Though there’s no cure for dyslexia, early assessment and intervention result in the best outcome. Sometimes dyslexia goes undiagnosed for years and isn’t recognized until adulthood.
Here is a link by the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity sharing ways to help spread awareness: https://dyslexia.yale.edu/advocacy/toolkit-for-parents-educators-and-students/what-you-can-do/
Assumptions about Dyslexia
It is a rumor that dyslexic people are less intelligent than non dyslexics but in general dyslexics have average or above average IQ`s which a lot of unique strengths that differentiate them from other dyslexics.
It is another common rumor that students with dyslexia will never achieve success in their adult life. This common assumption is invalid because dyslexic people are just as successful as non-dyslexics. Many influential personalities such as Albert Einstein, Galileo Galilei, Leonardo Da Vinci, Winston Churchill, and Thomas Edison were dyslexic. Many of today’s famous entrepreneurs also have dyslexia; Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates.
But dyslexic people are successful in many more areas. For example, some of the most influential artists, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollack, Andy Warhol, and Leonardo Da Vinci, had dyslexia. Without their unique creativity, our art museums would look completely different. But there are influential dyslexics in many other fields. For instance, famous actors such as Kiera Knightly, Orlando Bloom, Jenifer Anniston, and Whoopi Goldberg have dyslexia. The renowned basketball players Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson are also part of the dyslexic community. AS you can see, the list of dyslexic people continues endlessly, proving that dyslexic people make up a valuable part of our society.
When dyslexic children receive the crucial support they need at elementary school level with reading and writing, anything is possible.
Possible Downsides of Dyslexia
Dyslexia becomes a problem when it goes undetected. When parents and educators are not aware of the signs and symptoms of dyslexia, getting the necessary support for struggling dyslexic children will be very challenging. Reading and writing are skills that are essential to most school subjects. An unsupported child with dyslexia may have a disadvantage later in school and college life since having a solid base in reading and writing is vital to keep up with fellow peers. Left untreated, dyslexia may lead to low self-esteem, behavior problems, anxiety, aggression, and withdrawal from friends, parents, and teachers. Therefore early assistance is very beneficial for dyslexic children to thrive later in life.