Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty which makes learning to read a challenge. In turn it affects writing and spelling too.
It has no bearing on intelligence and there seems to be a genetic component to it as it is seen to run in families.
Learning to read can be a slower process for children with dyslexia as processing words is more challenging.
Most people with dyslexia think in pictures – trying to visualize pictures of sight words (the, are, was, your etc) is very difficult and can be exhausting for the reader.
Many children with dyslexia have developed other strengths such as creative thinking, being innovative, they can think outside the box and can be highly empathetic towards others.
Lots of people with dyslexia make excellent entrepreneurs as they have a great ability to think outside the box.
They have excellent spatial reasoning – the ability to think about and manipulate 3D objects – which can make excellent engineers, architects, design based occupations.
There are many different types of dyslexia – not all dyslexic students will have the same traits and they can range from mild to severe.
Children with dyslexia can have low self esteem because they feel “stupid” when they realise others seem to be learning to read quicker. They can often hide it for a long time as they feel shame over it. This can be done by “staying small” in class, trying to go unnoticed or acting out in class – better to be class clown than their peers knowing they struggle to read.
As teachers and parents, we need to show huge patience, give lots of encouragement, use many different teaching styles to engage the learner – visual, audio, kinaesthetic, multi-sensory.
Although a challenge, students with dyslexia can achieve as much if not more success as their peers!
Successful people with dyslexia: Richard Branson, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Steven Spielberg, Walt Disney, Tom Cruise, Whoopi Goldberg, Keira Knightly, Dave Pilkey (wrote Captain underpants/Dog Man) to name a few!