Posted on 31/10/2019

How much do you really know about dyslexia?

How much do you really know about dyslexia?

Dyslexia is an often misunderstood condition, which is why we’ve decided to set the record straight by busting some common myths and replacing them with facts.

Dyslexia is a common learning difference that affects many people in the UK, but there are still a great deal of misconceptions surrounding it that often go unaddressed. We’ve decided to break down some of the common myths to raise awareness and help others understand more about this condition.

Myth: People with dyslexia are less intelligent

It is a common but false belief that people with dyslexia are less intelligent. However, the condition affects people of varying intellectual abilities and does not impact on someone’s intelligence. As dyslexia influences the way someone processes information for reading and writing, it can cause difficulties at school, which may be where this misconception stems from.

Myth: Dyslexia just affects spelling abilities

Dyslexia can affect the way individuals read, write or spell and everyone will experience it differently. It can also affect organisational skills and some people’s ability to follow a string of directions.

Myth: Dyslexia can be cured

Dyslexia is not a condition that can be cured, it is a life-long learning difference which usually affects someone’s writing and reading abilities. There are programmes and different learning approaches to help children and adults living with this condition to thrive at school and work.

Myth: All children who write their letters backwards are dyslexic

Children of a young age may write some of their letters backwards when they are learning to write and spell. This is quite common for young children and does not usually mean that they have dyslexia. However, if symptoms continue and you think your child may need additional support, you can talk to their teacher at school and a GP.

Myth: Dyslexia goes away as you get older

Dyslexia is a learning difference that will affect someone for their whole life. However, as they get older, those living with the condition are likely to find learning techniques and processes that work for them.

Myth: Dyslexia is caused by environmental factors

A lack of reading, watching too much TV or having a bad diet are not positive for the development of any child, but they are not the cause of dyslexia. Although the exact cause is unknown, dyslexia is thought to be caused by multiple inherited genes that affect early brain development.

Myth: Dyslexia is a visual problem

Dyslexia is not a visual problem but a processing difference that affects the way someone processes language when reading and writing. There are other conditions that may cause young children to find difficulty with their learning, including undiagnosed hearing or vision loss, which sometimes have symptoms that are mistaken for dyslexia.

Myth: Dyslexia is rare

Dyslexia is actually quite common; in the UK it is thought around 1 in 10 people are living with some form of dyslexia.

Myth: Dyslexia only affects people who speak English

Dyslexia can affect people who speak languages from all over the world. There have been many studies about dyslexia and how it affects people who speak different languages.

Resources, information and advice

We hope we have shed some light on the realities of dyslexia and helped you better understand how it can affect those who are living with this condition.

Whether you have a young child with dyslexia or have just been diagnosed as an adult, there are many support programmes and services to help you better understand the condition, find support and learn how you can work on your strengths when learning something new.

British Dyslexia Association have a list of local associations where you can find support as well as a website with information, support and advice.

If you are looking for more information about symptoms, diagnosis, management, or more general advice about dyslexia, visit the NHS website.

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