Private industries spend an est. $3.1 billion a year to bolster the writing skills of entry-level workers.
National Commission on Writing
What is dyslexia?
Individuals who have challenges mastering language skills such as reading, writing and spelling, but have had normal learning opportunities and show ability in other areas, may have dyslexia. For many people with dyslexia, learning language skills (reading, writing and spelling) is frustrating and confusing.
Studies indicate that nearly 20 percent of the population--one in five individuals--may have some degree of this language-based learning disability (Shaywitz 1998). Of those who have dyslexia, many possess above average intellect. One study, conducted by Cass Business School in London (November 2007), found that more than a third of U.S. entrepreneurs surveyed identified themselves dyslexic. The study also concluded that those with dyslexia were more likely to excel in problem solving and oral communication, and to delegate authority. Individuals with dyslexia were also twice as likely to own two or more businesses. Indeed, those with dyslexia often have exceptional abilities in disciplines that require visual, spatial and/or motor integration. For more information on the unappreciated benefits of dyslexia, download this wonderful article by Wired magazine.
In 2002, the International Dyslexia Association adopted the following working definition for research purposes, and the National Institutes of Child Health & Development (NICHD) has since begun to use this definition in its work:
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability (SLD) that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impeded growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
Dyslexia is not a reading disorder per se; it is a language-based learning disability that has its origins in a glitch in the language processing areas of the brain's left hemisphere, including an under-activated neural system int he back of the left hemisphere. As a result, according to famed researcher and neuroscientist Sally Shaywitz, readers with dyslexia "have to rely upon a 'manual' rather than on an automatic system for reading" (Shaywitz 2000). In short, dyslexic brains fire differently than average brains when stimulated by language. As such, individuals with dyslexia must learn to interact with language in a way that complements their unique learning styles, utilizing multi-sensory, research-based, direct instruction. The good news is, people with dyslexia can master reading, writing and spelling with the right remediation. In fact, many go on to lead quite successful lives. Please link to our many resources on the proper TESTING & DIAGNOSIS of individuals with dyslexia, TREATMENT and remediation to help those who struggle with this common learning disability.
Common signs of dyslexia
Preschool children may:
Kindergarten through fourth grade children may:
Not all children with dyslexia will show all of these common signs. However, if these signs remind you of your child, you may want to talk with your child's teacher about your concerns and see what extra help the school can offer. If reading difficulties persist, it is advised to get your child properly diagnosed through a formal assessment.
Taking the first step is often the hardest. But information is powerful! Congratulations on recognizing your child's reading struggles and seeking out answers.
IDA Fact Sheets