Dyslexia and the Science of Reading
The Science of Reading
Reading is a relatively new cultural invention, only 5,000 years old. Spoken language, on the other hand, evolved in humans 100,000 years ago. Our brains are wired to learn to speak easily and naturally.
Learning to read is complex and requires developing new neurological pathways and repurposing many regions of the brain. The most efficient way to learn to read is with structured and explicit instruction. For some students, reading is learned quite quickly and easily. For others, it is more difficult and requires many hours of specialized instruction -- instruction that Reading Rays can provide.
Dyslexia is a neurobiological learning difference affecting about 1 in 5 people characterized by difficulty learning reading and spelling. It is also often associated with high levels of creativity, spatial reasoning, and big-picture thinking.
Some Signs of Dyslexia
slow, choppy reading
difficulty sounding out new words
guessing words when reading
skipping sounds while reading (Example: sack for stack)
taking a very long time to finish homework
trouble with reading comprehension
disruptive behavior that distracts from reading
avoiding going to school
self-deprecating comments or anxiety related to learning
family history of dyslexia
found in all ethnic groups, socioeconomic levels, educational backgrounds, races, and sexes
treatable, with the right instruction
often related to strengths such as creativity, innovation, and spatial relations
Dyslexia is NOT...
related to intelligence
a disease to be cured
a problem of vision or hearing
seeing letters in reverse
The earlier dyslexia is identified, the better! Knowledgeable teachers can provide targeted instruction to develop critical skills as early as kindergarten. However, more often, dyslexia is not identified until later in elementary, middle school, high school, or even college. Reading skills can be learned at any age, but time is of the essence. Every day your child is not keeping up, they are falling even further behind.
The root cause of reading challenges in dyslexia is in the area of phonological processing, which is the brain's ability to process the sounds in words. This is not to be confused with vision and hearing. Dyslexia is not a problem with the eyes or ears. Rather, the brain tends to use less efficient pathways to process what is seen and heard (i.e., letters and sounds). This results in choppy, slow reading, poor spelling, and limited comprehension. See other signs of dyslexia below.
Other terms that you may hear for dyslexia are Learning Disability or Learning Disorder in the Area of Reading.
The Strengths of Dyslexic Thinking
Despite its challenges, there are strengths that come with dyslexic thinking. Dyslexic thinking has fueled many of the world's greatest innovations and most successful people. Some well-known people with dyslexia include: Albert Einstein, Whoopi Goldberg, Keira Knightly, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DaVinci, and Steve Jobs.
MadeByDyslexia.com describes 7 common identities that are associated with dyslexia. Helping students to identify and use their strengths builds their confidence and enriches our world.
Storyteller, Mover, Questioner, Maker, Entertainer, Imaginer, and "People" People.