"A staggering 5 to 15 percent of Americans—14.5 to 43.5 million children and adults—have dyslexia, a learning disability that makes it difficult to read, write, and spell, no matter how hard the person tries or how intelligent he or she is. For years—until advances in neuroscience helped reveal a biological basis for the disorder—people with dyslexia were called "dumb" or "lazy." We now know such labels to be cruelly inappropriate. People with dyslexia can be just as bright and motivated as their non-dyslexic peers. They also can be found in all economic and ethnic groups."
Many people do not understand dyslexia. They believe it is only about reversing letters and/or numbers. In reality, dyslexics have trouble reading mistake-fee and at a good pace. In addition, they may also have trouble with spelling, reading comprehension and writing. It is important to know that these difficulties are not based on intelligence. Some experts believe that between 5 and 10% of people are dyslexics. Others believe that the number is more like 17%.
People do not ”outgrow” dyslexia however there ARE teaching approaches and strategies that can be taught to dyslexics to manage their challenges.
What does dyslexia look like?
Symptoms vary. Not all people with dyslexia face the same challenges. One important sign of dyslexia is trouble decoding words. Decoding is the ability to match letters to their sound(s). Dyslexics also can have challenges with phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is the way we recognize the sounds in word. Many dyslexics have difficulty with complex skills such as reading fluency, grammar, sentence structure and spelling.
Dyslexics may get frustrated or anxious when reading. They can develop poor self-esteem. Dyslexia can impact everyday life skills including memory, dealing with stress and social interactions.
Early intervention is key to helping people with dyslexia learn to read and write well. Studies have shown that 74 percent of children who display reading problems in the third grade will remain poor readers into adulthood unless they receive special instruction on reading and phonological awareness.