Dyslexia is misunderstood. It’s misunderstood by parents, pediatricians, and teachers. As the owner of Nashville Dyslexia Center, one of my core values is education of the community about dyslexia. Because dyslexia affects up to 20% of the population, we can’t afford to allow these misconceptions to continue. There are too many precious children who are not given the tools they need to read and spell, let alone the knowledge of dyslexia in order to advocate for their needs in school and in the workplace. Here are three wrong ideas about dyslexia:
- Dyslexia is rare. As mentioned above, as many as 1 in 5 people has dyslexia to some degree. But did you know that dyslexia is not unique to the United States or to English language speakers? Dyslexia touches every culture and geographic location. Furthermore, dyslexia represents 80-90% of learning disabilities. So if your child is struggling in school, particularly with reading and spelling, there’s a very good chance it could be dyslexia.
- We don’t know very much about dyslexia. The first recorded description of a 14 year-old boy with reading difficulty was written in 1896 by a doctor in Sussex, England. In our own country, the National Institutes of Health began a long-term study of reading problems in the 1980’s. More recently, fMRI’s have shown that dyslexics read with different brain pathways than the typical reader. With this brain imaging, dyslexia is no longer a “hidden disability.” In short, dyslexia has been studied for over a century, yet information about it doesn’t reach those who need it.
- Children will grow out of dyslexia. As functional MRI’s have shown, dyslexia is a difference in how the brain processes language. It is a difference in the neural wiring of the brain, and this difference is present throughout a dyslexic person’s life. If anyone tells you that your child’s reading struggles are developmental and “They’ll grow out of it,” that is highly unlikely. Delaying the help that your child needs will only make learning to read more difficult.
Could your child have dyslexia? Check out these signs of dyslexia. If your child has three or more of the signs, please contact me to schedule a consultation. Please help increase the awareness of dyslexia by sharing this article with your family and friends!
—Erin Paske, NDC Owner & Founder