If you have battled the boredom that is my dyslexia link at the top you may have read that my youngest is dyslexic. Since her diagnosis 2 years ago I have really picked up the cause. There are so many misunderstandings about this disorder.
I remember when I was in college, I heard on the news that Bill Cosby's son was dyslexic and I remember thinking how sad is that, that he will never be able to read. A few more years of college and I knew a little more about the disorder, But nothing compared to what I have learned over the last 2 years.
I do a literacy training for teachers and one of the things I focus on his what is dyslexia and what you can do to help someone with it. These are the answers to the top questions I get asked about dyslexia.
- You never out grow dyslexia but you can learn to read and read well with the proper intervention. Emmy is finally reading at grade level. Now if we can just work on her fluency and speed, which school puts a lot of emphasis on.
- Orton Gillingham style literacy programs are the best for dyslexics because it uses a multi sensory approach to teaching. There are some school systems in Kentucky that use this style in the RTI programs. Our school district does not, but that didn't stop us from purchasing a program and tutoring at home. It really made a world of difference.
- Reading ability has nothing to do with intelligence. It took me a long time to adjust to this. I use to be all about standardized test scores and reading levels. Now I care about what she really knows not what is regurgitated for a test.
- There are some awesomely famous and successful dyslexics like Henry Winkler, Charles Swabb, The virgin mobile (and airelines guy)
- Dyslexia affects about 10-20% of the population and runs in families. I didn't realize until we had Emmy diagnosed that dyslexia has levels like autism does. Emmy is moderately to severe. I would be considered mild. I was able to get through school without too much reading trouble. But it really is more of a problem with numbers for me. Numbers still move around on me when I try to read them. Yeah balancing a checkbook is fun....so is dialing a number. My sister is also dyslexic more on the moderate to severe level like Emmy. Thankfully Abbey seems to have taken after her dad.
- Having dyslexia is a real kick to the self esteem. You really need teachers who understand and will be a cheerleader for your child. I have been so lucky to have some awesome support from Emmy's teachers these last two years. I can't even tell you how wonderful they have been and how encouraging of Emmy to do more and grow as a learner. I get teary just thinking how her teacher last year started the process of turning Emmy and her struggles around. She will always be remembered fondly at our house.