What is it?
Dyslexia is a learning differentiation from the norm. Dyslexia causes people to have difficulty identifying speech sounds, which, then affects how they relate the sounds to letters and words. Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing linking Dyslexia to below-average intelligence levels. Those who are Dyslexic are just as likely to be above or below-average intelligence levels as those who do not suffer from the learning difference.
Dyslexia is a very common condition, affecting 9-12% of the population. 9-12% may not seem high, but when you take into consideration the number of people in the world, it is much easier to see just how huge the number of people living with Dyslexia is. While Dyslexia is one of the most frequently reported learning differences in the world and affects a significant amount of the population, lingering misconceptions continue to create confusion and cause unnecessary pain and stress for those who have Dyslexia.
Let’s take a look at some of these myths about Dyslexia.
Myth 1: All People With Dyslexia Reverse Letters and Numbers
This is one of the most common things you will hear about Dyslexia. Many people hear Dyslexia and immediately associate the learning difference with anybody who reverses letters or numbers while reading or writing. The truth of the matter is that many children reverse their numbers and letters when they are learning to read and write, and in no way does that point toward them having Dyslexia.
You might be surprised to know that many people who struggle with Dyslexia rarely or never reverse their letters and/or numbers in their writing. This myth can lead to difficulties in properly identifying Dyslexia and diagnosing the right people.
Myth 2: Dyslexia Can Be Prevented
One myth, in particular, that is incredibly tiresome to see to those who are Dyslexic or have loved ones with Dyslexia is that it can be prevented. Dyslexia is a neurological difference. Brain imaging techniques show that people with dyslexia process phonological information (i.e. sound-based information) in a different area of the brain than non-dyslexics.
To put it simply, a person is not capable of altering the way that their brain is built. Dyslexia cannot be brought on by not reading enough during the early childhood years or starting school too late in life, and it cannot be prevented by starting school at an earlier age or reading an above-average amount for a young child. This myth can be harmful because it leads those who are Dyslexic to believe that if they had only tried harder they could have prevented themselves from developing the learning difference that impacts their life on such a high level. This myth can also very easily make parents and guardians of people with Dyslexia feel as if they have failed. This myth is untrue, and the best thing for a guardian of a child with Dyslexia is to focus on helping them navigate their diversity rather than trying to fix them.
Myth 3: Dyslexic Children Will Never Read at a Proper Level
This is not only completely false, but it also can be very disheartening for a Dyslexic child or their parents to hear. The worst feeling for a parent is that of hopelessness. If a parent is convinced that their child will never be able to read at an appropriate level, then they may not think to look into the resources that are available for them and their child.
Children who are Dyslexic are capable of becoming fantastic readers and writers as long as they are provided with the right tools such as reading intervention. It is incredibly important for a child to be tested as early as possible when signs of Dyslexia begin to present themselves to ensure that the child is set up for success in the future.
If Dyslexia is diagnosed earlier in childhood, then adults around the child can be proactive and begin putting together a plan to help the child navigate and work through the challenges they will face as they grow. Dyslexic children are every bit as intelligent as those who are Neurotypical, and there is nothing in the world they can not accomplish as long as they are allowed to do so.
Myth 4: Dyslexia is a Vision Disorder
Some people who are not fully informed about the learning difficulty will suggest that people who are Dyslexic might just be struggling with their vision and should see about getting prescription glasses to help them read and write more clearly. This is not only unhelpful but can also be harmful, leading people to believe, once again, that there is something wrong with them and spend countless amounts of time and money attempting to correct something that they do not need to correct.
Dyslexia is not caused by or a result of vision problems. Having a poor vision is not going to increase the likelihood of a person having Dyslexia, nor will having perfect vision decrease those odds.
Dyslexia is a learning difference that stems solely from the brain. The brain of a Dyslexic person simply functions differently when processing language than that of a person who is not Dyslexic.
Myth 5: Dyslexic Only Occurs in the English Language
It is a very common misconception that Dyslexia only occurs in people who speak the English language. This is not true. Dyslexia is a neurological difference, and neurological differences do not discriminate when it comes to age, gender, ethnicity, or language. Dyslexia is just as likely to occur in a person whose native language is not English, and it will cause the same types of challenges regardless of the language.
Though Dyslexia is just as common in any language, children that speak more than one language at home or in school may sometimes be overlooked when it comes to recognizing the signs and symptoms as it may be mistaken for the child simply having a difficult time with bilingualism when in reality Dyslexia may be the root of the cause.
Myth 6: Dyslexia Goes Away When Children Learn to Read
While it is very much true that reading intervention can play a huge role in a child’s ability to adapt to and live with their Dyslexia, the fact is that Dyslexia is a lifelong learning difference. Having the proper materials, tools, and resources to work with as they grow and progress further through their academic lives can be incredibly valuable for a Dyslexic person’s ability to succeed in the future.
Dyslexia will never go away because it’s not an illness to be treated and cured. It’s a divergent way the brain navigates and operates through the world. It will always be present, and that is completely okay. As long as the person with Dyslexia knows that they are not alone and they have a support system to help them, they can and will achieve great things in their lives.
Dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of and should never be treated as such. If you have questions regarding Dyslexia or any other beautiful form of Neurodiversity there are many resources out there to help educate and inform you, as well as work with you to better understand those around you who are Dyslexic. There are workbooks, classes, and The Theara Way.
Theara and Dyslexia
Theara was built to support Neurodivergent people, including Dyslexic people. We have several life hacks, resources, and blogs to support Dyslexic people as they navigate their Neurodivergent life.
We also specifically crafted the Theara Academy.
The Theara Academy
Theara has created a community and resource hub for all Neurodivergent people, what Theara refers to as the Neurodiverse Collective. We created an innovative acronym-based digital training to ensure Neurodivergent live fulfilling and rewarding lives where they reach their goals, maintain meaningful relationships, and embrace who they truly are.
Here at Theara, we have 4 unique courses to support Neurodivergent people.
Know the Way at Home is a resource for parents of Neurodivergent children.
Know the Way at School is a resource for parents, teachers, and educators to navigate the Neurodivergent academic journey.
Know the Way at Work is a resource for employers, business owners, and HR representatives wanting to create a more inclusive and accommodating workplace for their Neurodivergent staff.
E.M.E.R.G.E. ND is for people wanting to remove the mask, heal the trauma and grief, reach their goals, and navigate their Neurodiversity.
Each course is tailored to a different stage of the Neurodivergent experience. Whether you’re a parent seeking to support your child, an educator wanting a more inclusive classroom, an employer ready to create a more diverse workforce, or a Neurodiverse person wanting to be themselves, then we have a course for you.
Let’s build a bridge to a brighter future, together.