Are you wondering lately if your child might be dyslexic? Are you trying to sort FACTS from myths? Are you combing through sites or reading books that might be sending you mixed messages such as telling you to WAIT for a diagnosis since your child is still “young.”
I suggest you read this excellent article from the University of Michigan, Debunking the Myths about Dyslexia. It lists 49 myths or misunderstandings and I want to share some:
Myth: There is no way to diagnose dyslexia.
Fact: We can accurately identify those who are at-risk for dyslexia as early as preschool; and identify dyslexia as early as 1st grade.
Misunderstanding: Dyslexia can be accurately diagnosed by an educational psychologist or a ‘specialist dyslexia teacher’ by using special tests. Technically, yes. Although, depending which professional is doing the assessment, the diagnosis may differ. Often, specialists will use phrases in a written report such as “child has a specific weakness in phonological development” instead of saying “child has dyslexia.” Additionally, many times the school personnel will say that they don’t diagnose dyslexia. It’s a matter of semantics — in most states, dyslexia falls under the special education code. It is a specific learning disability (SLD) in reading, spelling, and/or writing and may be coupled with challenges in oral expression. Don’t give up hope, though! Dyslexia can be diagnosed and early, systematic and explicit intervention can help minimize its negative effects.
Myth: Dyslexic children will never read well, so it’s best to teach them to compensate.
Fact: Individuals with dyslexia can become terrific readers with the appropriate intervention (i.e., systematic, explicit, and research-based). It is important to test a child early in his/her school career in order to identify any problems and attempt to prevent major reading difficulties before they even start.
I hope this information helps clarify your concerns around the “myths” that are always circulating. Knowledge is power!