Did you know? 10 facts you may or may not know about dyslexia
1. Dyslexia affects at least 10% of the population
2. A person with dyslexia has a 70% chance of having a co- occurring condition such as dyspraxia, ADHD, dyscalculia...
3. Dyslexia has a genetic (familial) basis, so if someone in the family has it – there’s a fair chance at least one other family member will have it too.
4. Early identification is essential to help the prevention of further difficulties such as emotional and behavioural problems, yet many people go undiagnosed until adulthood.
5. Language delay in young children is an early indicator of dyslexia
6. Many dyslexics are highly gifted despite a severe difficulty processing print. The following people are dyslexic: Richard Branson; Eddie Izzard; Kirsty Alsopp; Darcey Bussell; Dustin Hoffman; Steven Spielberg; Whoopi Goldberg; Kara Toynton; Bill Gates; Nigel Kennedy; Lord Richard Rogers; - demonstrating that dyslexia does not have to be a barrier to success.
7. Visual Stress, (distortion of print such as reversals, letters or words jumping or moving on the page, headaches or extreme discomfort when reading - especially black print on white), is often a characteristic of dyslexia but can affect those who are not dyslexic.
8. Dyslexia is a continuum of characteristics and every person with dyslexia will have a different profile with different levels of severity of each characteristic.
9. There is loads of free software and assistive technology that can make life tons easier for someone with dyslexia, yet only a fraction of schools are using it.
10. There is no mandatory training on supporting people with dyslexia in current initial teacher training programmes in England.
I’m pretty passionate about the topic and raising awareness, as I have seen and worked with far too many people who have suffered as a result of not being diagnosed or of not having their condition acknowledged or recognised.
I have seen people marginalised, stigmatised, have complete loss of self-esteem and self-confidence and have thought of themselves as stupid – all due to dyslexia. I have spoken to parents who are baffled by their child’s inability to read or write well despite their apparent brightness in other ways.
On the other hand, I have trained some inspired teachers and others working in education with simple tips and tools they can use to be inclusive of those with dyslexia and benefit all learners at the same time. Employers keen to make reasonable adjustments for their employees with dyslexia have also approached me for support and ideas.
Over the next few weeks in my blogs, I will expand on some of the facts above and give some tips and tools to use or pass on to others. Now you do know the facts - spread the word...
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