By Miriam Aliberti
It’s Dyslexia Awareness Month and we want to help spread the word!
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia might be something you’ve never thought about before, but a surprising number of people are struggling with this disorder every day. The International Dyslexia Association indicates that 1 in 10 people have Dyslexia. It is a learning disorder related to how the brain processes letters, words, and symbols.A person with Dyslexia can have trouble with how letters correspond to sounds and how sounds connect to make words.This can make it really tough to understand written language and cause problems with reading, writing, spelling, and sometimes even speech. Many people are struggling through their life without even knowing they have this disorder. People with Dyslexia are bright, intelligent, capable people, but sometimes do not feel that way because of their disability.Dyslexia can create a lot of challenges with school, work, and everyday living.An undiagnosed case of Dyslexia could have a lasting impact on self-esteem, grades, and job opportunities. It’s not curable, but with the right help it is manageable.
How Do I Know if I Have It?
People with Dyslexia often go undiagnosed because of embarrassment, lack of awareness, or the fact that people find ways to work around it and no one suspects a problem.Dyslexia is genetic and often run in families. Although symptoms of Dyslexia may be noticeable early on, it can be diagnosed and treated at any age. Mayo Clinic lists symptoms to look for from pre-school through adulthood and suggests that early assessment and treatment results in the best outcome.Take a self-assessment test here.
What Can I do About It?
There is help. Learning to read the way it is typically taught in school isn’t the best option for people with Dyslexia. Another way of learning to read called Structured Literacy is more effective. This way of teaching helps people learn phonemic awareness or how sounds in words relate to letters. Once people understand why they are struggling and get help to manage their disorder, they can learn skills that will help them to overcome those challenges and go on to great things.
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“I don’t ‘suffer’ from dyslexia, I live with it and work with it. I suffer from the ignorance of people who think they know what I can and cannot do.” Erica Cook, Learning Ally member