Even though research tells us that dyslexia accounts for about 80-90% of all learning problems– and it is the most common learning disability of children in our country – there is still a pervasive stereotype that people with dyslexia struggle with like flipping, reversing, and/or seeing letters and words backwards. Yes, dyslexia does indicate extreme difficulty with reading, but it is not caused by a visual problem or flipping letters. The exact causes of dyslexia are still unknown, but science has identified differences in the way the brain of a dyslexic person develops and functions. If your child or someone you love has dyslexia, it means that his or her brain has a harder time identifying and remembering the code to how sounds and letters go together.
As much as brains universally share the job of housing a person’s intellect, each brain functions and feels and applies thought in a unique way. Your child’s dyslexia is as unique as your child. There are no two dyslexics who are exactly alike – because no two students are exactly alike. Each person has an individual style of learning. Each dyslexic has an individual way of decoding, recognizing, and comprehending written words. Until I learned more about our daughter’s dyslexia – until I began to trust her tutors and advocated for her needs in the classroom, that is when I implemented an effective rewards system that was uniquely motivating to her.
Once dyslexia is a part of your family life, there is a way to manage it with grace: get to know it. It is yours and it is unique. People can tell you all about their learning difference in the spirit of supporting you, but the only way for you to truly support the dyslexia that lives in your home is to spend time with it one-on-one and honor exactly what it needs to learn.