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Wear Red October 4th for World Dyslexia Day

September 20, 2019
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Letter to the Editor:

Wear Red October 4th for World Dyslexia Day

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month and October 4th is World Dyslexia Day It is a great opportunity to spread awareness and understanding about dyslexia. As founder of the Tama County Area Dyslexia Support Group, I would like to review some common questions or myths that I hear about Dyslexia.

Do dyslexics see letters backwards? Dyslexics do not see letters backwards. Dyslexics see the exact same thing in the exact same way that everyone else does. They may confuse "b" and "d" or "left" and "felt" but it is not because they see letters backwards. Some dyslexics will describe letters moving around on the page, but this symptom is not dyslexia. This may be due to physical eye problems or problems with visual processing or eye stress. Dyslexia is not a problem with vision.

Myth: Reading more will help the dyslexic be a better reader. This is balanced literacy technique that may work for the non-dyslexic but does not work for the dyslexic. When a non-dyslexic learns to read, their brains are able to organize or memorize the spelling and decoding of words and from this process decode and spell new words. For the dyslexic, there is a breakdown in this organization process. If a dyslexic brain is not able to organize what it reads the first time, it will not be able to organize it the tenth time. Forcing a dyslexic to learn to read by reading more causes them much frustration.

Myth: Reading will click for students as they get older. This is a common "wait and see" strategy that often leaves dyslexics far behind their peers in reading ability. Dyslexia does not get better with age, it is a lifelong condition. Dyslexics need structured literacy to help their brains organize all the information it needs to read. This type of reading instruction helps them "crack the code" of reading.

Myth: People who can't read are not smart. The ability to read and intelligence are not related. Just like everyone else, Dyslexics can be of low to superior intelligence with the majority of them having at least average to above-average intelligence. Dyslexics can be extremely successful such Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and Steven Spielberg.

Please wear red on October 4th to show your support for all dyslexics.

Thank You.

Carrie Keenan




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