Dyslexia – the annoying things people say 5 myths about dyslexia exploded!

5 misconceptions about dyslexia exploded…

If your child has dyslexia, sometimes well-meaning friends, relations – and even teachers – will come out with some of the following myths. But perpetuating these misconceptions can be damaging to your child. Here’s five common myths about dyslexia exploded…

Myth:   Dyslexia does not exist!

Middle-class parents use the dyslexia label to excuse laziness in their children

False. This myth partly grew from how dyslexia was identified in the past. Any child who had reading difficulties that could not be attributed to any other ‘reasonable cause’, such as hearing difficulties or poor school attendance, were said to be dyslexic.  

However, science has moved forward at a rapid pace and we are now able to reliably define dyslexia. We have over 30 years of research into the functioning of the dyslexic brain. Human brain mapping has been helped considerably by the invention of fMRI.  We now know that dyslexia relates to neurophysiological differences in brain function.  And the fact is, dyslexia is one of the most common learning disabilities to affect children. Learn more about the dyslexic brain here. 

Myth:  Dyslexia is just reversing letters and numbers

Dyslexia is when kids write ‘b and d’ backwards, isn’t  it?

False. Wouldn’t it be great if that’s all dyslexic children had to contend with? Of course,  children can reverse letters and numbers and put letters in the wrong order until they are about 7 years old. Reversing letters is not specific to children with dyslexia at all.

However, it is true that dyslexic learners can often continue to reverse certain letters and numbers and put letters in the wrong order beyond primary school age. But this is usually because they having difficulties relating the way a word sounds to the sequence of letters from which it is composed. Read more about reversing letters, writing letters backwards and dyslexia here.

Dyslexia can be so much more than writing ‘b and d’ backwards. It affects the ability to learn to read and spell. It involves difficulties in dealing with the sounds of words, which makes it especially hard to learn to use phonics to read words. It can also affect short-term memory and speed of recalling names.

Myth:   Dyslexic children are not very clever

If a child doesn’t read very well, he can’t be that smart!

False. Dyslexia is not related to intelligence in any way!  In fact, some of the brightest children struggle with reading. The truth is, children with dyslexia can have high, average or low underlying ability – just the same as any other child. 

The tragedy is that many undiagnosed dyslexic children grow up thinking they are not as smart as other children, even though their underlying ability may be high. And they can carry this belief with them throughout their lives.

You can see how important early identification can be. For the child, the knowledge that he is dyslexic can be empowering. It can give him self-understanding and self-awareness of what he has – and what he needs to do in order to succeed! Find details of getting a dyslexia assessment for your child here.

Myth:   Dyslexia can be outgrown

He’s dyslexic? Don’t worry, he’ll grow out of it!

False.  Unfortunately, dyslexia is a life-long challenge. A child that struggles with reading and spelling in primary school is likely to still struggle in Year 11 and beyond.   Although many dyslexics learn to read accurately, they may continue to read slowly and not automatically.

The good news is, early intervention can really support your child and help him keep up with his peers. Getting the right support for your child is important. Systematic, explicit, sequential intervention, taught in a multi-sensory way is key. Check out how to get help for your child here.

Myth:   Dyslexics are just lazy and need to work harder 

Dyslexic? He’s just lazy!

False, false, false! I really hate this one!  Just imagine how hard a child with dyslexia has to work at school! It’s no wonder he can feel frustrated and lack motivation. 

The sad truth is, a child with dyslexia is probably working harder than other children in his class, every hour of the day. Feelings of frustration and failure can be extremely harmful to a child’s self esteem.  Read more about the psychological impact of dyslexia here.

If your child has dyslexia, try to be his or her best advocate! Do your research, learn as much as you can about your child’s difficulties. And then help explode the damaging myths about dyslexia!

Posted in Dyslexia News

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