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- Dyslexia is a learning disability that includes difficulty in the use and processing of linguistic and symbolic codes, alphabetic letters representing speech sounds or numeric representing numbers or quantities.
- The first description of dyslexia appeared in 1896 by Dr. W. Pringle Morgan in Sussex, England, this is what he wrote: “Percy F.,... aged 14,... has always been a bright and intelligent boy, quick at games, and in no way inferior to others of his age. His great difficulty has been—and is now—his inability to learn to read.”
- The word dyslexia is derived from the Greek word ‘dys’ (meaning poor or inadequate) plus ‘lexis’ (words or language). Implying only an inadequacy in language tasks.
- Dyslexia is not the result of neurological damage, but the product of neurological development.
- Dyslexia varies from mild to severe.
- Dyslexia does not reflect an overall defect in language, but, rather, a localized weakness within the phonologic module of the brain. This module is the functional part of the brain where the sounds of language are put together to form words and where words are broken down into sounds.
- Dyslexia is a unique mindset that is often gifted and productive but learns differently than other minds.
Prevalence of Dyslexia
- Dyslexia affects nearly 10% of the population.
- Dyslexia is by far the most common learning disability.
- According to NIH research, of those who are placed in special education for a learning disability, around 80% of those have dyslexia.
- A study at Yale found that the numbers of girls and boys who have dyslexia are about the same.
- Dyslexia commonly runs in families.
- Children don't outgrow dyslexia.
- Some of the most brilliant minds of our time have been known to have dyslexia: Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and John Lennon, to mention only a few.
- There are people with dyslexia in many types of highly respected careers such as: Tom Cruise, Danny Glover, Cher, Magic Johnson, Carl Lewis, Bruce Jenner, and General George Patton.
- “Given the high prevalence of reading difficulties, it is more likely for your child to have a reading problem than almost any other physical problem for which he is being checked.” - Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz, M.D.
- Dyslexics often enjoy and excel at solving puzzles.
- Dyslexics have excellent comprehension of the stories read or told them.
- Most dyslexics often have a better sense of spatial relationships and better use of their right brain.
- Dyslexics have excellent thinking skills in the areas of conceptualization, reason, imagination, and abstraction.
- Dyslexics have a strong ability to see concepts with a "big picture" perspective.
- Dyslexics are adept to excellence in areas not dependent on reading.
- Dyslexics typically have a large spoken vocabulary for their age.
- Dyslexics tend to be more curious, creative, and intuitive than average.
- Dyslexics’ special mode of thought easily produces the gift of mastery.
- Dyslexia is not related to low intelligence.
Symptoms of Dyslexia
- Dyslexia can affect spoken language, written language and language comprehension.
- Dyslexics have trouble breaking down unfamiliar words into letter-sound segments. As a result, reading is slow and filled with errors.
- Dyslexics require extra time and effort to process language information.
- Dyslexics often need to be taught to look at words linearly, left-to-right.
- Dyslexics have difficulty in learning (and remembering) the names of letters.
- Dyslexics often fail to understand that words come apart; for example, that "batboy" can be pulled apart into "bat" and "boy" and, later on, that the word "bat" can be broken down still further and sounded out as 'b' 'aaa' 't'
- Dyslexics often have a difficult time learning to associate letters with sounds, such as being unable to connect the letter b with the /b/ sound.
- Dyslexics will sometimes make reading errors that show no connection to the sounds of the letters; for example, the word "big" is read as "goat."
- Dyslexics often struggle to read small "sight" words such as "that," "an," "in."
- Dyslexics often substitute words with the same meaning for words in the text they can't pronounce, such as "car" for "automobile."
- Dyslexics often omit parts of words when reading.
- Dyslexics often have difficulty remembering dates, names, telephone numbers, and random lists.
- Dyslexics often have an extreme difficulty learning a foreign language.
Dyslexia Facts - Research Findings
- Despite popular belief, dyslexics do not see letters backwards. They often have difficulty naming and writing letters, and in fact, writing letters backwards is something that many kids do when they’re first learning to write, whether they have dyslexia or not.
- Many individuals with dyslexia have proven to see things three dimensionally, which can effect how they look at words.
- Often dyslexics are thought to be reading backwards because of what is called the "Recency Effect." In which they pronounce the word using the most recent sound first, like "tap" for "pat."
- Research has shown strong correlations between dyslexia symptoms and deficits in short-term memory and executive functioning.
- Dr. Glenda Thorne stated, "Dyslexia is not a deficit in the visual processing system; however, it is a language processing problem. The hallmark characteristic of dyslexia is a breakdown in what is called phoneme awareness."
- Yale researchers have shown when people with dyslexia try to read the front part of the brain is over-stimulated while crucial portions in the center and back are under-stimulated.
Solutions for Dyslexia
- Research has proven that explicit, systematic phonics can actually help 'rewire' the brain and help dyslexic students learn to read.
- The use of the Orton-Gillingham approach can significantly compensate for the language learning and processing problems that arise from dyslexia.
- Dyslexics score significantly higher on test when they are given additional time and given the test orally.
- Dyslexics do best when directions are two steps or fewer. They often get confused and frustrated with a long list of “to dos” or directions.
- The more important, consistent, frequent, multi-sensory, and emotionally reinforcing information is presented, the easier and more enduring language learning becomes for dyslexics.
Learn more dyslexia facts and other information in Reading Horizons' free webinar: "Dyslexia: From Symptoms to Solutions" ›
Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz, M.D
Thank you for the informative post! Not having had much contact with dyslexia, it's good to learn more and more about it.
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! This is probably the most comprehensive description of dyslexia and the various nuances of the disability that I have seen. My son is severely dyslexic, so learning about it has become second nature. It's easy to find different articles about particular symptoms or causes, but most do not try to cover a full scope. You have done a lovely job of doing just that - putting it all in one place. If it's okay, I plan to share this with teachers, other parents and everyone willing to read it.
Glad to hear it was helpful! Feel free to share it with anyone!
Might also want to mention what is known as perceptual dyslexia - which is visual stress and distortions affecting reading, writing and other visual skills and activities and is caused by sensitivity to certain intensities, types and lighting conditions. It can affect how the brain processes visual information and the stress it causes can affect auditory and vestibular skills. A very effective intervention is the use of neural tinting which is determined by extensive visual perceptual testing by a trained diagnostician using specially and carefully calibrated colored tints worn as glasses or contact lenses. I have personally worked with adults and children whose reading skills have gone up 1-3 grade levels in a matter of hours after years of spec ed and tutoring, and even sometimes vision therapy and OT. It is called Irlen Method.
Also thanks for sharing this article!! I wish you much success in helping your students and educating others about dyslexia.
Thanks for sharing!!! We actually did a post on colored lenses the other day that goes along with what your comment: http://athome.readinghorizons.com/community/blog/are-colored-lenses-an-effective-solution-for-dyslexia/
I'm 48 yrs old...I'M ADHD AND I HAVE DYSLEXIA...ANYTHING OUT THERE FOR A PERSON MY AGE? help!
Yes! Here is a video of a dyslexia specialist discussing the best interventions for dyslexia: http://athome.readinghorizons.com/community/blog/which-interventions-are-best-for-a-child-with-dyslexia/ And here is another video with her discussing what can be done to help struggling readers with ADHD: http://www.readinghorizons.com/blog/post/2011/06/07/How-to-Help-ADHD-Students-that-Struggle-With-Reading.aspx
Wow! Thanks for sharing your story! It's obvious you have done so much to help your son. I hope all of you have success! I'm very impressed by your diligence in doing all that you can.
Thank you for this list, and expressing how people with dyslexia are actually very intelligent, and capable of great things. They just use their brains differently. My son fooled teachers until second grade. Because he is so intelligent, and had learned to manipulate people, and situations that showed his weakness, no one discovered he has severe dyslexia until the end of second grade. We had him tested by a pediatric neuro-psychologist during the summer between 2nd and 3rd grade for 2 days, and received a 26 page report. He was also diagnosed with ADD, not ADHD, and an above average intelligence. The specialist for the school district saw him for 2 hours, gave him a 2 page report that said he had below average intelligence and ADHD. What a huge discrepancy. We also found out that there are no dyslexia specialists in the state employed by the public school systems. We chose to send our son to a private school and pay for a specialist. The specialist by the way was a teacher and has 2 sons with severe dyslexia and ADHA and was unable to get help for her boys. She actually got her Special Ed cert, thinking she could then help her son's on her own. Not so. She finally went the only route available and went for special training for two years just for dyslexia. She was unable to really help her two boys in that time, but she said she would help as many parents as she sould to keep them and their children from going through what she and her boys went through. I am a nurse and my husband is a psych tech, so we are not rich by any means, but felt his education is not a compromise we are going to make. This however is not an option for most families. If there are such a large population of children, and adults with dyslexia why can we not get proper specialists in the public school systems. Our son has made huge leaps and bounds with the specialist, but I see children every day getting left behind, feeling stupid and suffering clinical depression. When will the system learn that by helping these children we could have great scientist, Doctors, inventors, explores, writers, ect, ect ect, instead of these individuals becoming "a problem in society" and a "drain on the taxpayers". My son knows he is different. He knows he cannot read. He feels badly about this and himself even though we tell him how special and amazing he is, and all of the great things he can accomplish "when" he learns to read. If we are doing all of this and he still feels bad, how must all of the other children feel that are not getting all of the advantages we can give our son. What about the adults out their who know they are smart but are unable for others to see it because they have difficulties reading and are never given the chance to show others what they are capable of. Sorry I am ranting. This is a very sore subject for us. My husband was is special ed along with his brother, in an expensive school district in CA. Niether was given a diagnosis, his parents were told they both had low intelligents, close to mentally retarded and would never be able to learn. We are realizing that both are dyslexic. My husband is in the process of completing his masters in education. He is now thinking he may actually go on and get special trainging in dyslexia. Not to shabby for someone who could not read when he "graduated" high school. Imagin graduating and being unable to read. How does this happen in this great country of ours. His brother was not so lucky. He drifts from job to job and struggles in life. I am so happy that you have given us this list that is so to the point. I am posting this to every web site I can to inform the public, our schools and our politiions about what dyslexia is and is not. Thank you. Keep up the good work.
Ana I believe I'm dyslexia where can I go get tested where it isn't going to cost me a few thousand dollars I don't have I am 32 I have my GED I've always had a difficult time reading and spelling can you help? It's a shame that while I was a young girl none of the teachers even bothered to have me tested. It is very depressing to struggle with this everyday I feel ashamed that I can't read, write, and spell the way other people my age can
So sorry to hear about your struggle with reading! Here is all the information we know about getting a diagnosis, but it can be expensive: http://athome.readinghorizons.com/community/blog/how-to-get-a-professional-dyslexia-diagnosis/ But, regardless of whether it is dyslexia or not, if you struggle with reading, writing, and spelling, the skills taught here can help you: http://athome.readinghorizons.com/resources/sample-skill.aspx
Thank you so much for mentioning the difficulties with phonological awareness, or the ability to break words into their constituent parts, that children with dyslexia often have. We're working to promote this information too on our website at www.booksfordyslexics.com. You're providing a very useful service to parents just as we aim to.
I'm nearly 14 and I'm dyslexic I hate the schools I have one to because all of them said that they were specially trained to pick out symptoms of dyslexia and none of them pick out me Iv been to seven schools and now I'm in high school. It was. E who asked my mum if I was because I couldn't spell at all! I was always in the lowest classes except for art drama p.e and music which is the only subjects I am good at :( but anyway I went into school and asked if I could have a dyslexia test and about a month later I got one it came out that I was but they had to do another one because the first was on a laptop. On the second one it also said I was and the teacher said I would get help after the summer holidays (it was only 2 weeks till the holidays) it has now been two weeks and a bit and still no help this is why I hate school haha xxx but these facts have helped i have powned my tea hers Lolz XD :)
Thanks alot for this, am a news anchor in Kenya and Dyslexic. just realized this recently and am really trying to work on it. thanks alot and if CNN's Anderson Copper made it,am sure i can do it as well though its been tough for me. Thanks alot for this.
I think my dad is dyslexic. I know in high school he was in a special ed class. I don't think they even helped him. He still doesn't know how to read at all or do math, but he can count money. I really would like to help him learn how to read, but I don't know how to tell him. His educational problems really have messed up his life and prevented him from excelling. He's just given up on trying to learn.
Thank you for your site! It is so important to share this information and diminish the stigma of learning struggles. 3 of our 4 children have been diagnosed with dyslexia over the last year, one also with dyscalculia (a math processing disorder). My husband has dyslexia, as well, and spent his whole life "faking it". We have found a lot of resources to help our children (my husband has benefitted from them also). One of the best things we've come across is Learning Ally (www.learningally.org). They have over 75,000 audiobooks, including textbooks! Another resource that has made a huge difference is the book "The Gift of Dyslexia" by Ronald D. Davis. It is written very well, easy to follow with large print and walks you through step-by-step exercises (not repetitive reading, like some professionals suggest). The most important goals in our family are; to be sure that the kids know how smart they are, and help them "love to learn". Thank you, again!
Hi Alisha, I would hope that they are willing to answer questions and are doing what they can to help, but schools often have a difficult time addressing every child's unique needs. The Barton program uses a research-based, Orton-Gillingham approach which is the type of instruction he needs if he is dyslexic, and even if he isn't, he will benefit from such a program. The Barton program is very intensive and is a very long program. In order for him to get the full benefit of the program he'd have to complete it and many times if a child is only showing minor signs of dyslexia or other processing disorders schools will take a child out of such an intensive program before they finish to help a more struggling student. Often you don't recognize how severe a child's processing disorders are till around 4th to 6th grade because they are able to memorize full words till around that level, so I can see how the school would have a hard time answering all the questions you might have. It may be difficult for the school to determine how much time he needs and if he needs the time more than another child does, but keep with them and understand your child's progress. If you think he's not getting enough time and he is not progressing, we offer an Orton-Gillingham based program that you can implement in your home. Please feel free to reach me with any questions you might have. Josh@readinghorizons.com
This was great. I actually have a family of dyslexic children of varying degrees! Luckily we are able to send our kids to the Carroll School in Lincoln, MA! Such a gift. Anyhow, any thoughts on a foreign language selection. My oldest is taking Spanish and making her way through. My next just started HS and is in Spanish, but I wonder if a Latin would be better? Thoughts??? Neither kids have ever taken a language prior to HS. They can get a waiver, but it is not that easy and my son wants to play lacrosse in college, so not taking it would limit his choices dramatically I think! Just curious about any experiences and opinion?
You can make it! Keep moving forward!
Hello Angie, how can i reach you?
I love this article ! Thank you
Just don't loose hope and support him in whatever way you can. A helpful tool that might help you give him some helpful reading instruction here and there is our <a href="http://athome.readinghorizons.com/resources/online-training.aspx" rel="nofollow">parent phonics training workshop</a>. It is a free resource and I know it works the other way around in your situation, but It might prove helpful to show him some easy to learn skills that will help him recognize the structure of English words. Hope this helps and if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. -Josh
Thank you...... I can really say now that I'm not a "reatard" or a "idiot" like some of my coworkers say I am. I fill good about my self and my dyslexia in a long time. I fill like i can do anything now. Thank you...
Thank you this was very helpful. Do you know of any Internet sources that read audibly while (from a novel) while the student can read along ? Also a program that a student can dictate their essays and he computer notates simultaneously? I have heard about "Dragon Speaks" but parents have said it has its quirks as well
The <a href="http://athome.readinghorizons.com/lessons/rh.aspx?lsn=04" rel="nofollow">Reading Horizons</a> and <a href="http://athome.readinghorizons.com/lessons/dip.aspx?lsn=05" rel="nofollow">Discovery</a> programs have features in their library sections that read passages audibly while the student can follow along. I'm not sure about a system that allows a student to have their essays dictated to them, but that sounds like it needs to be created!
Thank you so much. This has really blessed me.
We just found out our 8 year old could be dyslexic. The school gave him a screening and said he has dyslexic tendencies but they can't explain what this means. He reads at the top of his second grade class, his grades are good though math is very hard for him. They have started him in the Baron reading program four days a week for thirty minute sessions, is this enough? How do I trust these people if they are not willing to answer questions for me? How dyslexic could he be? He knows the alphabet, letter sounds, can break words into syllables, and the more research I do the more questions I have. The school staff are not helpful at all. My son is so confused despite my best efforts to reassure him. He wants to know what he is doing wrong and I can't tell him because I don't really know. We have opted for private testing but private school is not option for us finally. It breaks my heart for him.
thank you soooo much
some websites make people with dyslexia are just stupid !!!!!!!!!!1
hu i luc yur artukle u huv dyslixa uf i culdnt tul
Thanks for this website! I saw a movie where there was this 7 year old kid, and he had trouble reading. Every time he had to read something out loud, he would say, "the letters are dancing," After I saw more of this movie, I realized that maybe the kid had dyslexia. But he loved to paint and draw and made really good paintings. But he was sent to boarding school because he didnt pass his 3rd grade test. Anyways, thanks again!
Thank you for writing such a comprehensive explainations on dyslexicia, I am 54 yrs and suffered from dyslexica my whole life.When I was younger, I was singled out as defencent, lazy and unmotivated. My 36 yr son has dyslexica also and he is effected even more than I am. The high School counselor told my parents to "not waste the time or efforts to put me into college prep classes. I am the ONLY one in my family who has graduated from college and currently attending on line moving towards my masters in psychology. I already knew some of these facts, but some of this information is insightful to me. I am glad I was crusing the web to correct my spelling that spell-check didn't find, ( a constiant endever) This was not a accident, truly a God sent article.
I have dailysex and this desrbieed it perfectly!
thank you so much I didn't have much hope that there was any good side to my condition until i saw this thank you
Thanks for the topic, am from Kenya and my 21 year old son always had dyslexia. Unfortunately, here in Kenya there are not schools for such and he went through normal school but failed his fourth form exam. His biggest problem is with mathematics and calculations. Numbers are a big problem for him and at his age he cant tell what time it is in a wall clock. Simple calculations like knowing how much change to expect when buying something has always been a problem. How can i get help for him at his age. He is good in drawing and reads fluently in english without any problem. He also has a passion in acting and would want to go to acting school but no college in Kenya will accept him because of poor grade in form four. Please help, my email address is email@example.com
I have Dyslexia and ADHD to. I am 10.It is ben hard for me
Glade to see a positive comment on Dyslexia For those who are not dyslexic it is very very hard for use who are to explain as we know no different Our daily life is very different to people who are not gifted with dyslexia I always feel a good sense of humor helps because if you cannot laugh at a situation you would cry most days. People must learn that dyslexia will never go away it is part of the person through out there lives. We learn to cope but we are human and do fail but gain great stories to let about our lives. Never give up laugh every day.
Thank you so much for this this post. These facts are really interesting. I am a teacher at special needs education school. I will definitely share these facts with my students.
Retired Special Education Teacher
Winston Preparatory School
Thank you for all the info. I have concerns that my daughter age 6 is dyslexic. Her school has brought up academic concerns and want to begin testing next month, so I have reached out to a specialist outside of school to have her tested as well. As a baby, she struggled with colors, still does with pink and purple. She has a great vocabulary but will often mix up letters, and say words wrong, like cromise for promise. In kindergarten she struggled to learn sight words and was even put in summer school for extra help. Now in 1st grade, she is continuing to struggle sight words, reading and blending sounds. She also struggles in math. She receives small group instruction for both and is making little progress. I find that when were reading and she can't read a word, but I spell it out loud for her, she'll know it. She also struggles with right vs. left and with instructions like if I tell her to push, she'll pull. This year she started cheer leading, and almost every cheer she does the opposite arm/hand/leg movements. She progressed over the course of season but would make many mistakes with movement. Is that related to dyslexia too?
Thank you so much for this great post. Dyslexia which are really useful and simple.
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A work colleague told me about his son, who is 8 years old, suffering with Dyslexia, and being a writer of awareness, I decided to make it my next report for my website, and am at present researching as much as I can to inform myself with the relevant information before I start my write up.
I believe that teachers in main stream schools do not have the relevant training experience to teach dyslexic children, therefore unable to recognise dyslexia as the problem surrounding the difficulties a child may be experiencing in the classroom, with regards to a child's learning abilities, More teacher training must be undertaken concerning dyslexia so teachers are able to spot the signs of a dyslexic child, so they don't slip through the net, and be able to give that child the support and guidance they need to develop his/her learning skills.
Dyslexia is best thought of as a continuum of abilities and difficulties rather than a distinct category, as it occurs across a range of intellectual abilities with no clear cut-off points.
Very helpful information also read this:http://www.indiaparenting.com/intelligent-child/90_5692/top-10-traits-of-extremely-intelligent-kids.html
Thanks, I am doing a project on Dyslexia and this helped a lot. Fun fact JFK had Dyslexia.
#only #or #first #2018 #comment.
Thank you for the facts about Dyslexia, I am doing a project this year in 8th grade and this website really, really did help me and I told others to use this site for other projects about really anything.
thanks for the facts your name will be metioned in my project
Thanks for the help it helped alot
I'm glad that you informed us how dyslexics have excellent thinking skills, so they excel in areas involving conceptualization, reason, imagination, and abstraction. My son has been diagnosed with dyslexia ever since he was 6, and he often has trouble keeping up with his language classes in school because of his condition. I hope I can find one-to-one dyslexic reading tuition services that can help tutor my son to develop his reading and writing skills better.