Dyslexia is not new, but our understanding and support will make a huge difference in our children’s lives!
Dyslexia is a neurodiverse barrier to learning which may affect a person throughout their life.
Neurodiversity consists of many possible learning and thinking differences such as anxiety, ADHD, dyspraxia, and even autism. At the Bridge Assisted Learning School we follow a Neurodiverse approach and our teachers work with students to teach them strategies to bridge these barriers.
Dyslexia is a specific learning variance that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterised by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.
Some of the characterising features are as follows:
- Difficulties with phonological processing
- Difficulties with rapid naming
- Difficulties with working memory
- Difficulties with processing speed
Here are some of the most common misconceptions regarding dyslexia.:
Myth: Intelligent people cannot be dyslexic or have a learning disability
Fact: Dyslexia and intelligence are NOT connected. Many dyslexic individuals are very bright and creative and have accomplished incredible things as adults.
Myth: Dyslexia is rare
Fact: Research has shown that dyslexia may affect from 10 to 17 % of the population. Some people may have more mild forms, while others may experience it more severely. Dyslexia is one of the most common causes of reading difficulties in primary school children.
Myth: Dyslexia can be outgrown
Fact: Dyslexia is a lifelong barrier and will continue into adulthood. Although many dyslexics learn to read accurately, they may continue to read deliberately and not intuitively.
Myth: Dyslexia cannot be diagnosed until after grade three
Fact: Suitably trained and qualified people are able to identify the precursors to developing dyslexia from a pre-school level. Difficulty with phonics and word pronunciation is a good warning sign of dyslexia. It is possible to make a more definite diagnosis as soon as the child begins to struggle with learning to read, spell, and write. The sooner a diagnosis is made, the quicker the child can get help.
Myth: Dyslexia is not genetically based
Fact: It is a genetically based, neurological difficulty with phoneme awareness and processing skills (the ability to perceive and manipulate speech sounds). A combination of a family history of dyslexia and symptoms of difficulties in spoken language can help identify a vulnerable child even before he/she begins formal schooling.
Myth: Any child who reverses letters or numbers has dyslexia
Fact: Up to a certain point, it is considered normal for children to reverse their letters and numbers and is actually quite common. However, if this does not stop after two years of handwriting instruction, it becomes a red flag for dyslexia.
Myth: Children with dyslexia are just lazy. They should try harder
Fact: Lack of awareness about the disorder among educators and parents has often resulted in the child being branded as “lazy”. What regularly happens is that children with these issues would rather not attempt a task than fail.
Think of Albert Einstein
He was considered someone who would probably not succeed in life. He had speech challenges, difficulties adjusting to a rigid way of teaching and even dropped out of school. His teachers misjudged his potential by claiming to the world that he would fail.
However, he stayed passionately curious. That was the drive that made him one of the most influential scientists of all time. Therefore, nurture your child’s talents, help them to develop interests, acquire tools for learning and stay motivated.
Dyslexia is not new, but our understanding and support will make a huge difference!