What you need to know about dyslexia
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is best defined as a difference in the way language is processed. It makes reading, writing, spelling, and even processing speech difficult. It has little to do with intelligence and is highly based on genetics. If one parent has dyslexia, there is a 50% chance it will be passed on to their child.
It can also begin in adulthood due to brain damage, a stroke, or, in some cases, a general physical or mental trauma. Those with dyslexia are very intelligent and articulate when they speak, but without a proper learning method, they are unable to read, spell or write at grade level.
How Genetics Affect Dyslexia
Probability increases when another family member also has dyslexia
There’s a 50% chance of a child inheriting it if one parent has dyslexia
A grandparent, an uncle or an aunt with reading & spelling struggles also significantly increase chances of a child developing dyslexia
You are not alone, and while you will have dyslexia for the rest of your life, you can dart between the raindrops to get where you want to go. It will not hold you back.
– Steven Spielberg
What do you know about dyslexia?
MYTH: Students with dyslexia see things backwards.
FACT: Actually, they are confused by directionality (left-right, up-down). What they see is the same as those without dyslexia.
MYTH: Those with dyslexia cannot read at all.
FACT: They do read well when taught to their specifications.
MYTH: Dyslexia is rare.
FACT: The facts tell us that about 15-17% of people in the USA struggle with dyslexia. That’s 3 to 4 students in every classroom in America.
The Problem & the Solution
There are several main challenges someone will find it difficult to learn to read adequately, thereby needing our services. Some common causes are: dyslexia, ADHD, executive function disorder, central auditory processing disorder, dysgraphia (poor handwriting skills), a hard birthing labor or a brain trauma. Poor reading skills and/or dyslexia can affect the learning of other subjects in school; even math can be hard because of letter and number reversals, it requires some reading, as well as the fact that dyscalculia (challenged math skills) sometimes comes with dyslexia. Dysgraphia (poor handwriting skills) can make writing stressful, which can put a student behind in their reading when they have to write along with reading.
Something that sets us apart is that we often work with students who have ADHD, other learning differences and/or are VERY stressed out from the overwhelming issues they face in school. Most of these kids are bullied by either students or adults, and they are often perfectionists. They are trying their best and are still not living up to their own or others’ standards, which usually makes them believe they’re “stupid”, resulting in very low self-esteem. Therefore, we work with them through their stressful moments by teaching them to recognize their emotions, providing them with strategies and tools on how to de-escalate negative emotions experienced in a stressful moment. This, coupled with their newly acquired reading and/or math skills, improves their self-esteem. Mastering basic reading skills by 4th grade is integral to a student’s success in all subjects for the rest of their academic career and beyond.
While some have let their dyslexia diagnosis hinder the achieving of their goals and dreams, many have used it as an inspiration. They know who they are, realize they are not alone, and accept the challenges that come their way. Millions of people live with dyslexia and have happy and successful lives, making a difference in their communities.
There are plenty of examples throughout history that demonstrate those with dyslexia can not only accomplish at very high levels and lead productive lives, but can also be EXTREMELY successful.
Kiha Woods, Student
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