10 Myths About Dyslexia


Myths About Dyslexia


1.  Dyslexia doesn’t exist.  I was surprised by this one.  This myth may exist because of the other myths listed here and caused by a basic misunderstanding of what dyslexia is.  Dyslexia is one of the most researched and documented conditions that impacts children.  Dyslexia is genetically based and has been shown to be clearly related to neurophisiological differences in brain function.  

2.  Learning disabilities are correlated to IQ.  Dyslexia is not related to intelligence.  In fact, one of the clear signs that a child may have dyslexia is that there is a discrepancy between their intelligence (average to above-average) and their processing speeds and academic performance.  Dyslexics are intelligent and lean towards creative strengths such as art, music, athletics, mechanical skills, people skills, 3D visual-spatial skills, intuition and global thinking (being able to see the big picture). Click here to read a list of over 200 ‘famous’ dyslexics that have accomplished great things, not despite their dyslexia but because of their dyslexic gifts.  

3.  Children will outgrow dyslexia.   Research shows that if a child is struggling with reading, writing and spelling in mid-first grade, there is a 90% chance that the child will still be struggling in 8th grade and into adulthood.  Knowing this, waiting for your child to improve is not a good option.  In my experience, kids just get further and further behind, lose confidence and feel frustrated.  It takes less time to fix reading and spelling difficulties when dyslexia is discovered and treated early.  However, it is never too late.

4.  Dyslexia is caused by bad diet, bad parenting or watching too much TV.  Dyslexia is genetically based.  Although bad diet, bad parenting and watching too much TV aren’t good for any child and certainly won’t help the situation.

5.  Dyslexia can be helped with medication.  There is no medication to help with dyslexia.  As many as 40% of kids with dyslexia also have Attention Deficit Disorder {ADD}.  There are some medications for ADD, but they won’t help with reading, writing and spelling – only attention issues.

6.  Dyslexia is a visual problem.  Most kids reverse letters or numbers while they are learning.  Continued reversals after 2 years of instruction is considered a sign of dyslexia.  This, however, is not a vision issue.  Dyslexia is a language processing disorder – difficulty relating sounds to symbols.

7.   Dyslexia affects more boys than girls.   More boys are sent in for dyslexia testing than girls, but research shows that an equal amount of boys and girls are affected by dyslexia.  Becasue boys tend to act out their frustrations of not doing well in class, they are noticed and sent in for testing.  Girls who aren’t doing well in class tend to be more quiet and try to avoid being noticed.  Sometimes they are only diagnosed in highschool or college.

8.  Dyslexics are lazy and need to work harder.  Research has shown by the use of functional MRIs and brain mapping that slower readers use different parts of their brains when reading and working with language.  The findings provide evidence that people with dyslexia are not poorly taught, lazy, or stupid but have an inborn brain abnormality that has nothing to do with intelligence.

9.  Accomodations for kids with dyslexia are a crutch.   Dyslexics are just as intelligent as their peers but may need more time on tests to be able to reflect what they really know.  The difficulties in taking notes is so profound that students will often miss the entire meaning fo a lecture just trying to copy down the pertinant words.  

10.  Dyslexia is untreatable.  There are successful treatments for dyslexia.  It is not a disease that can be treated with a pill.  It is a way of thinking, the way the brain is wired and how it processes information.  Research has shown that the brain can actually be rewired if the individual is taught with systematic, explicit, sequential phonics taught in a multi-sensory way. 

Related posts:

Early Signs of Dyslexia

Dyslexia :: What To Do?

Help For The Older Struggling Reader




Marianne Sunderland

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  1. Funny the thing about boys and girls, I was never picked up in primary due to my love of reading and my scores being ‘average’ due to good reading/comprehension
    I never actualy got tested or help untill my 5th year of highschool..
    Those myths are scary though I met a few teachers who actualy belive the ‘dyslexics are just lazy’ and such..

  2. Thanks so much for this! I shared on my FB wall! My almost 10 yr. old has extreme dyslexia along with some other LD’s so I homeschool him! My in-laws really don’t believe in learning disabilities and they think he’s just lazy and that he could really do better… I’m hoping they read this! I really hate when certain people ask me about his issues…they really think he’s just lazy or that he’ll outgrow it…my FIL actually told me that “all kids have dyslexia”…what??? Anyway, thanks for your info on dyslexia…I’ve been looking for solutions for learning his times tables…going to try out a few of your recommendations! Thanks so much!!

  3. This document is so true as dyslectic myself I find this very encouraging to see stuff like this on the internet. It has helped me out with my research paper that I have to do for one of my classes. So I thank you for that.

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