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Dyslexia is the most common learning disability around, but it’s still widely misunderstood. Myths abound, while understanding of the fascinating nature of the disability is rare. Here’s your dyslexia education.
1. Dyslexia is the most common learning disability, with about 10% of people affected and 70-85% of children in special education diagnosed with dyslexia.
2. Dyslexia is not the same as an overall defect in language. Instead, it’s a localized problem in the brain that leads to breakdowns in phonology.
3. Some MRI studies have shown that people with dyslexia use primarily the front and right sides of their brain to process language, while non-dyslexics use multiple areas in the left side and rely more heavily on the back of the brain.
4. Dyslexia is hereditary, and if both parents have it, there is a 100% chance their children will.
5. About 40% of people who have dyslexia also have ADHD.
6. There are some benefits to a dyslexic brain. Many people with the condition have a better sense of spatial relationships, as well as strength in conceptualization, reason, imagination, and abstraction. They tend to see the big picture perspective.
7. One of the biggest problems for dyslexics is breaking down new words into letter-sound segments. They often need help seeing words left to right, learning the names of letters, and understanding that words can be broken down into their component parts.
8. It’s very common for people with dyslexia to substitute words with the same meaning if they can’t pronounce a word, e.g. car for automobile. They also will omit parts of words, and have difficulties with dates, names, and numbers.
9. People with dyslexia don’t actually see letters backwards. What they may have trouble with is what’s called the “Recency Effect,” in which someone pronounces a words with the most recent sound first, e.g. tap for pat.