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Debunking the Myths about Dyslexia

Does your child struggle with reading? Parents often wonder whether or not it could be dyslexia—a learning disability that affects a person’s ability to read.

Statistics from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development revealed that around 15 to 20 percent of Americans suffer from a language-based learning impediment; the most common is dyslexia.

For a well-known learning problem, dyslexia is often misunderstood. Here are 5 myths most people have fallen for:

Myth: Dyslexia involves reversing words or letters.

This is the most common misconception. In fact, 70 percent of education professors and students believed it.

Dyslexic or not, children often reverse letters and words; this is part of the process of learning how to read and write. However, if this persists for a couple of years, it could be a telltale sign of dyslexia. Nevertheless, reversals such as this account only for a tiny fraction of dyslexia troubles.

Myth: Dyslexia is a visual problem.

On the contrary, the problem lies in the auditory senses. People with dyslexia tend to have a problem paying attention to speech sounds. As a result, it may cause problems associated with spelling, understanding rapid instructions, repeating lists of words, naming pictures quickly, etc.

Myth: Dyslexia can be detected only when a child begins school.

False. Dyslexia becomes apparent as early as when the child begins learning how to read. Possible indicators of dyslexia in preschoolers include having a hard time learning the alphabet, difficulty reciting nursery rhymes or problems pronouncing familiar words.

Myth: Dyslexic people aren’t very bright.

This is one of the biggest myths about dyslexia. Carol Greider, PhD, is a 2009 Nobel Prize recipient in Physiology or Medicine. She also struggled with dyslexia when she was younger.

Myth: Most people suffering from dyslexia can’t read.

Reading may be harder for people with dyslexia, but it’s not entirely impossible. The chances of reading well can be improved over time by identifying the problem and addressing it. Specialized teaching at school coupled with a strong support system at home can make it easy for the child to overcome this obstacle.

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