There are many prevalent misconceptions about dyslexia which can be harmful if they stand in the way of early diagnosis. So it is important to distinguish dyslexia facts from commonly held misconceptions.
# There is a misconception that dyslexia is rare.
Dyslexia facts state that 15 to 20% of the populace, or one child out of every five, are affected by dyslexia. This is the finding of the National Institute of Health.
# There is a misconception that dyslexic children see letters and words backwards.
Dyslexia facts say that children with dyslexia sometimes do write certain letters backwards, for instance, b/d/p and n/u, because they get confused with letters which have similar shapes. But research has not found any evidence that children with dyslexia actually see the words or letters backwards. Letter reversal does not necessarily indicate that the child has dyslexia.
# Together with the above misconception, many people believe that writing letters backwards indicates dyslexia.
According to dyslexia facts, in the early stages when children are learning to write, word and letter reversal is commonly seen in dyslexic as well as non-dyslexic children. This wrong assumption is so widespread that sometimes dyslexic children who don’t show this trait of word reversals do not get diagnosed in time.
# Misconception: If a child can read, he can’t be dyslexic.
According to dyslexia facts, this is not true. The degree of dyslexia varies from mild to severe; some children with a mild form of dyslexia are able to read up to a degree. Often, they learn to cope by using various clues like pictures, guessing the words from their shapes, etc, so they may give the impression of reading, when they are actually not decoding the words. When such children move to the upper grades and the volume of required reading goes up, the earlier coping methods ultimately fail them.
# Misconception: Dyslexic children possess low intelligence.
According to dyslexia facts, this is completely untrue. Children with dyslexia can be seen to struggle with reading, spelling and writing, and so they may seem less intelligent. But in reality, dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence, and many dyslexic children are gifted academically. The way their minds process information is different but that does not in any way reflect on their intellectual abilities.
# It is thought that a child who has been tested by the school’s system and didn’t qualify for special education, doesn’t have dyslexia.
Dyslexia facts state the matter differently. The school systems test a child for a specific learning disability. A child suffering from a mild or moderate form of dyslexia may not qualify for the help given through special education systems.
So the necessary intervention doesn’t take place and the child continues to be in the general classroom where he struggles.
If it is suspected that a child has dyslexia, he/she has to be assessed by a professional specializing in dyslexia testing. It may be necessary for parents to seek outside help to get this done.
What is Dyslexia