Dyslexia: Myths vs facts parents need to know

While dyslexia is not a new learning barrier, our understanding and support can make a huge difference in our children’s lives!

 Dyslexia is one of the most common causes of reading difficulties in primary school children.

Dyslexia is a neurodiverse barrier to learning which may affect a person throughout their life. Simply put, it can cause your child to experience difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and poor spelling and decoding abilities. In this article, we uncover the top myths around dyslexia and give you the real facts.

Myth #1: Intelligent people cannot be dyslexic or have a learning disability

Fact: Dyslexia and intelligence are NOT connected. Many dyslexic individuals are very bright and creative and have accomplished incredible things as adults.

Myth #2: Dyslexia is rare

Fact: Research has shown that dyslexia may affect from 10 to 17 % of the population. Some people may have more mild forms, while others may experience it more severely. Dyslexia is one of the most common causes of reading difficulties in primary school children.

Myth #3: Dyslexia can be outgrown

Fact: Dyslexia is a lifelong barrier and will continue into adulthood. Although many dyslexics learn to read accurately, they may continue to read deliberately and not intuitively.

Myth #4: Dyslexia cannot be diagnosed until after grade three

Fact: Suitably trained and qualified people are able to identify the precursors to developing dyslexia from a pre-school level. Difficulty with phonics and word pronunciation is a good warning sign of dyslexia. It is possible to make a more definite diagnosis as soon as the child begins to struggle with learning to read, spell, and write. The sooner a diagnosis is made, the quicker the child can get help.

Myth #5: Dyslexia is not genetically based

Fact: It is a genetically based, neurological difficulty with phoneme awareness and processing skills (the ability to perceive and manipulate speech sounds). A combination of a family history of dyslexia and symptoms of difficulties in spoken language can help identify a vulnerable child even before he/she begins formal schooling.

Myth #6: Any child who reverses letters or numbers has dyslexia

Fact: Up to a certain point, it is considered normal for children to reverse their letters and numbers and is actually quite common. However, if this does not stop after two years of handwriting instruction, it becomes a red flag for dyslexia.

Myth #7: Children with dyslexia are just lazy

Fact: Lack of awareness about the disorder among educators and parents has often resulted in the child being branded as “lazy”. What regularly happens is that children with these issues would rather not attempt a task than fail.