What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. People with Dyslexia have difficulty with understanding language sounds and recognizing the meaning of words. Dyslexics process information differently than others.
The brain has two hemispheres; left, and right. The left side of the brain is in charge of language and reading and the right side is in charge of spatial activities. To read, you need three activation points to work together in the left hemisphere. The left frontal lobe is the sound recognition center (understanding how words sound). The left temporal lobe is the speech recognition center (understanding how to make the sounds). The left occipital lobe is the visual recognition center (understanding how the words look). The language system needs these three points to all work together to be a good reader; dyslexics have a neurobiological glitch impairing the reading triad making the triad of reading impaired.
Dyslexics rely more on the right hemisphere and frontal lobes to read instead of the left hemisphere; thereby making a word just read, take a longer trip through the brain. Without the proper neurons and pathways in the brain, a Dyslexic will not become an independent reader. Many people think that if their student or child practiced more, they would become a better reader, when in fact the longer they read, the more negative it will become. How can a person read independently without the proper neural connections in place?
A Cure for Dyslexia?
Dyslexia CANNOT be outgrown or cured, but thanks to neuroplasticity, the brain CAN be rewired, and a dyslexic CAN learn how to become an efficient reader. With the proper teaching in place, it is indeed possible for a dyslexic to become an independent reader. With rehabilitation reading level will improve, but the traits of dyslexia will not change. The goal is to improve the reading level and self-esteem, not to change the brilliance of the dyslexic.
Who does it Affect?
One in five people have dyslexia, that is 20% of the world’s population, imagine how many children are struggling with dyslexia and don’t know it. To top it off, dyslexia is genetic; it is passed down to your children and your children’s children. Awareness of this learning disability is in dire need. Dyslexia is a hidden learning disability, and it is easy for someone with dyslexia to ‘slip through the crack!’ To recognize dyslexia, you first have to know it can be a possible culprit.
Signs of Dyslexia
- Randomly guessing words when reading
- Leaving or adding endings of words
- Cannot link letter names with sounds
- Inverting the order of words like enemy and emeny
- Rote Memorization
- Stuttering in speech
- Mispronouncing words, poor articulation
- Difficulties finding the right word to say
- Unable to comprehend what is read
- Genetically passed on
- Excellent with oral tests, but struggles with written tests
- Slow reading, words omitted from sentences
Types of Dyslexia
There are THREE main types of dyslexia that affect auditory processing, sound and word articulation, and gross motor skills (handwriting) characteristics. Individuals can have a combination of the three different types, making SEVEN types of dyslexia. The least common type of dyslexia is related to flipping letters around. The most common types are related to sound and word articulation, and auditory processing.
Can Dyslexia be Tested?
My colleague, Lori Wiens, is the Dyslexia Determination Test Assessor in the province of Manitoba. The test is done in-office out of Morden or via Skype. The test will prove the diagnosis of dyslexia if it is present, and state the types of dyslexia and their severities. Contact us for further information.