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Debunking 5 Dyslexia Myths

Dyslexia is more than reading and spelling problems.


Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. Debunking the myths around dyslexia leads to better outcomes for those who are struggling to read.


Dyslexia does not mean that the child has low intelligence. Research has shown that the dyslexic individual's brain is wired differently—and that is not a bad thing! Many dyslexics have strong skills in areas other than reading. The striking mismatch between their capabilities in non-reading areas and their inability to learn to read at the same rate as their peers serves as a flag for teachers and parents. The good news is that with proper help, dyslexic individuals can and do learn to read, spell, and write.


Here a few myths about dyslexia:

  1. Dyslexia is rare. The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 15% of the population is dyslexic. That means about 1 in 6 students are dyslexic.

  2. There is no way to diagnose dyslexia. Professionals such as educational psychologists and speech-language pathologists who have in-depth training can accurately diagnose dyslexia as early as age 5.

  3. Dyslexics see words backwards and letters reversed. Many young children reverse letters when learning to write. While it is true that dyslexic children have difficulties attaching the appropriate labels or names to letters and words, there is no evidence that they actually see letters and words backward.

  4. Intelligence and ability to read are related, so if someone doesn’t read well, they can’t be very smart. There is absolutely no relation between dyslexia and IQ. Dyslexics can have high, middle, or low IQ’s.

  5. Teachers and Reading Specialists are trained in learning disabilities and remediation methods. Unfortunately, research has shown that most colleges aren’t teaching the science of reading (SoR) including early identification of children at risk for reading failure, implicit instruction in letter sounds and syllables, and teaching phonics in a sequential order that research has shown will be most beneficial to students.

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