Dyslexia is a very misunderstood learning difficulty. Due to being widely misunderstood, there are problems presented with diagnosis, help and general misinformation. These can hinder someone who may be showing signs of dyslexia.
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that most often causes issues with reading, writing and spelling. It is very important to note that this does not have to do with intelligence. This is such an important note because people fall into the assumption that people with dyslexia are simply not intelligent due to perhaps a lower grade in an exam. Dyslexia itself has nothing to do with intelligence in the brain, it is simply a difficulty putting what is in the person’s brain down onto paper.
What are the signs?
There are various signs of dyslexia that can show up differently in different people. These signs can also be missed in people and can cause difficulties growing up in education.
- Frequently the order of letters in words is confused.
- May read and write slowly.
- Their spelling may be inconsistent.
- Often understanding verbally but not on paper.
- They may find planning and organisation difficult.
How are these signs missed?
As stated above these signs can be found in a wide range of dyslexic people. Not every dyslexic person has the same symptoms that may be commonly known. Therefore, signs and symptoms can often be missed in people of all ages. There are many ways these signs are missed:
One common way that dyslexia can be dismissed in children on boys is simply the idea that boys will take their time. Or even the idea that boys don’t want to try sometimes. Realistically if a child is behind on their education from a young age it can be easier to dismiss the problem. However, there are many issues with this. This could potentially be such a hindrance to the child’s future. If they are made to feel less intelligent they may be more inclined to feel less excited about education.
There may be an adult who would benefit from dyslexia support. This may be simply because it was missed in them as a child. Adults can be dismissed too. This can be done by an intelligent adult trying to receive help and being met with confusion. Therefore, the stereotype that dyslexia and intelligence are linked simply causes a hindrance.
- Mild case
A child with a mild case of dyslexia may be easily missed due to not displaying the signs majorly. It is important to remember the idea that although they may not be displaying the symptoms in a way you feel they should doesn’t mean they couldn’t benefit from help.
The government have pushed funding to support people with dyslexia who may need adjustments made.
- The Disabled Student Allowance (DSA)
This is open to students with a wide variety of disabilities, both physical and learning. The DSA is funding on top of student finance that the student does not need to pay back. This money refers to three separate funds for that person.
-Paying for specialist personal assistance.
-For specialist equipment to help the person.
-Funds an assessment of the person to give recommendations on what will help.
- Access to work funding
This is a grant from the government to help make adjustments for people who may need adjustments to help with dyslexia. This can simply provide support and help in different ways that the person may need it. This is flexible to what the person may need.
How can we help?
Help can look different depending on what that individual needs. The best way to understand what that person needs is simply by discussing what the options are. Maybe even trying out a few different techniques and asking how they went.
This can be such a useful technique to help someone. One main use of technology can be speech recognition. This may not work for everyone, however, can be useful to some. The idea here is that it may stop the frustration of trying to articulate what the person is trying to say. Instead of this frustration, it may be easier to verbalise the words.
- 1-1 lessons with a specialist
1-1 sessions are something that is often of very high importance. As a result, having 1-1 time with someone who is there to help can often be the most beneficial.
Phonics can help some children with dyslexia to read due to repetition. This can help reinforce understanding. However, this may not help some children.
Thank you so much for reading this blog post about dyslexia. This has been such an important blog post for me because I have viewed people in my life being failed by the education system. Failed in a way that the signs were missed and therefore halted them from getting help. This has made me so passionate about myth-busting some myths about dyslexia.
Overall, the main takeaway from this is that people display symptoms differently and do not view everyone as the same. Practice empathy.
Thank you to Rob Hobson, Suzy Hazelwood, Luca Nardone and Anna Tarazevich