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Myths & Truths

Myth: Dyslexia is a visual problem; dyslexic children and adults see and write letters and words backwards. If a child doesn't reverse b's and d's or p's and q's he or she cannot be dyslexic.

Truth: Many children reverse their letters when learning to write, regardless of whether or not they have dyslexic.
Bottom Line: reversing letters is not a sure sign of dyslexia; a child can be highly dyslexic and NOT reverse letters.

Myth: Dyslexia only affects boys.

Truth: Both males and females can be dyslexic. Dyslexia affects comparable numbers of boys and girls, although more boys are referred by their teachers for evaluation. These referrels appear to reflect the more rambunctious behavior of boys in the classroom.

Myth: If you perform well in school,you can't be dyslexic.

Truth: Some dyslexics perform very well in school. These students are highly motivated and work incredibly hard; many have received the necessary accommodations that allowed them to demonstrate their knowledge. Dyslexic students have complete rigorous programs at highly selective colleges, graduate and professional schools.

Myth: Smart people can't be dyslexic; if you are dyslexic, you can't be smart.

Truth: On the contrary, some of the very brightest boys and girls struggle to read. Dyslexia occurs at all levels of intelligence. Many gifted people at the top of their fields are dyslexic.

Myth: People who are dyslexic are unable to read.

Truth: Most commonly, dyslexic children and adults do learn to read; the problem is the effort required to read. Typical readers of the same ability level early on become "fluent" readers so that reading is automatic, fast, and pleasurable. In contrast, dyslexic children remain "manual" readers who read slowly and with great effort.

Myth: There are no clues to dyslexia before a child enters school.

Truth: Since reading is based on spoken language, clues to a possibility of dyslexia are present before a child enters school. Children with dyslexia often have slightly delayed speech, don't recognize rhyming words, and there is often a family history of reading difficulties. Tests can be performed early on, providing help early and therefore many difficulties may be prevented.

Source: ©The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, 2016

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