What is Dyslexia?

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Dyslexia is a neurological condition that affects the way an individual processes language. Dyslexia can cause difficulties in reading, spelling, and phonological awareness despite other cognitive capabilities and classroom instruction. Left untreated, these complications compound, as a lack of reading leads to lower vocabulary and background knowledge.

There is a lot of research and support for people with dyslexia, but when it is new to you or your family, it is difficult to know how to get started. Here are a few quick resources that can act as good starting points. See our Dyslexia Resources for more information.

Dyslexia Handbook: What Every Family Should Know
Published by the International Dyslexia Foundation, this handbook acts as a guide to dyslexia assessment, teaching techniques, and a source of further resources to help support people with dyslexia from elementary school through college.

Talking with your Child about Dyslexia
This short article from Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity offers advice on how to start talking to your child about their dyslexia so that they understand the diagnosis and know they are supported. You can also find more on their page  What Parents Can Do.

Dyslexia in the Classroom: What Every Teacher Needs to Know
This handbook published by the International Dyslexia Association discusses what dyslexia is, signs of dyslexia in children as well as adults, tips for effectively teaching to dyslexia students, how to teach dyslexic students to read, provides information on screening and diagnostics, as well as providing a list of additional resources.

Ready to dig in deeper? Take a look at our Dyslexia Resources!

 

Common Misconceptions

"It is rare"
Dyslexia is more common than you may know. According to the International Dyslexia Association, it is estimated that 15-20% of the U.S. population has dyslexia!

"People with dyslexia see backwards"
Dyslexia is not a visual condition; it is a condition involving language processing. 

"People with dyslexia are less intelligent than non-dyslexics"
There is no correlation between lowered intelligence and dyslexia. People with dyslexia typically have average or above average intelligence. In fact many people with dyslexia are considered especially creative and have excellent puzzle solving and pattern recognition skills.

"Dyslexia is just an excuse for laziness"
People with dyslexia are not lazy. However, they may struggle in school and without intervention give up trying to read or spell in an attempt to self-preserve.

Celebrate Dyslexia!: Books Featuring Characters with Dyslexia