10 Common Myths about Dyslexia
- Dyslexia doesn’t exist.
On the contrary, dyslexia is one of the most researched and documented conditions that impacts children. Dyslexia is genetically based and has been shown to be clearly related to neurophysiological differences in brain function.
- Learning disabilities are correlated to IQ.
Dyslexia is not related to intelligence. In fact, one of the hallmark signs that a child might have dyslexia is that there is a discrepancy between their intelligence (average to above-average) and their processing speeds and academic performance.
- Children will outgrow dyslexia.
Research shows that if a child is struggling with reading, writing and spelling in mid-first grade, there is a 90% chance that the child will still be struggling in 8th grade and into adulthood.
- Dyslexia is caused by bad diet, bad parenting or watching too much TV.
While bad diet, bad parenting and watching too much TV aren’t good for any child and certainly won’t help a child with dyslexia, dyslexia is genetically based.
- Dyslexia can be helped with medication.
There is no medication to help with dyslexia.
- Dyslexia is a visual problem.
Dyslexia, however, is not a vision issue. Dyslexia is a language processing disorder. The confusion lies within the brain and how it processes written material.
- Dyslexia affects more boys than girls.
More boys are sent in for dyslexia testing than girls, but research shows that an equal amount of boys and girls are affected by dyslexia.
- Dyslexics are lazy and need to work harder.
Research has shown by the use of functional MRIs and brain mapping that slower readers use different parts of their brains when reading and working with language. The findings provide evidence that people with dyslexia are not poorly taught, lazy, or stupid but have an inborn difference in brain function that has nothing to do with intelligence.
- Accommodations for kids with dyslexia are a crutch.
We have learned that students with dyslexia are just as intelligent as their peers, however because of slower processing speeds, they may need more time on tests to be able to reflect what they really know. The difficulties in taking notes can be so profound that students will often miss the entire meaning of a lecture just trying to copy down the pertinent words. Accommodations for dyslexia allow students with dyslexia to perform at their intellectual ability.
10. Dyslexia is untreatable.
There is no miracle ‘cure’ for dyslexia. It is not a disease that can be treated with a pill. It is a way of thinking, the way the brain is wired and how it processes information. Research has shown that the brain can actually be rewired to process the written word the same way as ‘good readers’ if the individual is taught with systematic, explicit, sequential phonics taught in a multi-sensory way.