Special Parents Confidential Episode 18 Living With Dyslexia
Dyslexia is possibly the single most mis-understood of all disabilities. People who don’t have it think that those who do see misspelled words, or letters out of order, or even that they read backwards. But none of that is actually true. People with Dyslexia can recognize letters and words, and even sentences. The real problem is the comprehension component of reading is diminished, or in some cases not there at all.
New research has shown that there is a specific area in the brain that causes Dyslexia and the hope is that new treatments may come from that discovery. But those treatments are still a long way off and in the mean time many children and adults are continuing to struggle. Added to this is the fact that as of right now, March of 2015, only 24 states in America recognize Dyslexia as a learning disability and have specific treatment protocols for school districts to follow. That means that over half of the school age children in the United States who have Dyslexia are not getting the right kind of help, if they’re getting any help at all.
One of the aspects of children with special needs that many people don’t understand is that a child can have more than one specific disorder. A child may have ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism, or Downs Syndrome, and also have Dyslexia. But if the main disorder is more prevalent, the Dyslexia may not be recognized or even noticed without a more intensive diagnosis.
Dyslexia is the best known of these disorders, and causes problems with reading comprehension. There is also Dysgraphia, which causes problems with handwriting, and Dyscalculia, which causes problems in mathematics comprehension. Over the next series of podcasts, we’re going to take a closer look at Dyslexia and the related learning disorders to try to get a better understanding of the causes and the treatments.
To begin, I wanted to get a better idea of what it’s like to have Dyslexia and how it affects the ability to read and learn. Fortunately a friend of ours is willing to talk about her challenges. Elizabeth D’Aurora is a third grade elementary school teacher in West Michigan and she has Dyslexia. She talks about some of the problems and difficulties she had in school. As an educator she also discusses treatments and therapies for Dyslexics and their effectiveness. As you’ll learn in this podcast, there is no ‘cure’ for Dyslexia. No one “overcomes Dyslexia”; instead the person learns ways to cope and strategies for learning that can help them in school and beyond.
For more information on Dyslexia and related learning disorders visit Understood.org.
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