Dyslexia is a learning disability that causes problems with reading, spelling, and writing. Don M. Winn is a multiple award-winning children’s author and dyslexia advocate that personally knows the challenge of learning to love to read.
So many of us with dyslexia have not felt heard or understood until very recently, with the influx of new data about our condition.
One of my personal goals is to promote dyslexia awareness because, despite new research about the condition, many misconceptions and inaccurate beliefs are still rampant. Why is it important to set the record straight?
Because dyslexia is not something that can be “cured” or reversed by any means: diet, exercises, medication, herbs, or talk therapy.
It’s very important to make sure that parents whose kids have dyslexia have realistic expectations for their loved ones and the resources to understand the full scope of their children’s needs.
Here are the top 5 misconceptions about dyslexia:
Misperception #1: “All kids who reverse their b’s and d’s have dyslexia.” Actually, that is not the case; science has proven otherwise. Please refer to the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity if you’d like to know more. Personally, I have trained myself to overcome letter reversal in my printing (I can’t write cursive), but I am still quite dyslexic and have all its other complications, I assure you! In addition, not all dyslexics reverse similarly-shaped letters.
Therefore, kinesthetic exercises or other techniques which can potentially help some struggling students to strengthen left/right brain activity will not remedy dyslexia.
It is also not a dietary problem. No amount of bone broth, medicinal herbs, green juices, or other wholesome foods will reverse dyslexia. While I eat an unprocessed diet with plenty of plant foods and encourage others to do the same, it’s not because I believe that food impacts dyslexia.
Misperception #2: “Dyslexia can be outgrown.” Nope. Kids with dyslexia are not developmentally delayed, nor is the problem temporary. Dyslexia is a life-long difference in the way the brain processes information.
Misperception #3: “Dyslexia is really about social anxiety or lack of maturity.” Not a chance. Having a student repeat a grade and teaching him/her the very same way will not improve the student’s skills. Social maturity will not improve the student’s ability to read. Like many of you, I repeated first grade, which left me even more behind and plagued with lower self-esteem than ever.