Parents and educators can observe Learning disabilities among children in their early stages of development, and one of the most common forms is dyslexia. Data provided by the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations shows that 1 in Australians or 10% of the population has been diagnosed with dyslexia. Therefore, every teacher would have encountered at least one child with some form of dyslexia in their classes. And they will have the responsibility of identifying and supporting such children with appropriate teaching approaches like the Orton Gillingham method. It enables teachers and educators to guide children in overcoming their struggle with literacy and enhance their emotional and general well-being.
However, despite extensive research and awareness, myths and misconceptions about dyslexia and other learning disorders are still persistent in society. This article looks at the truth behind some of them.
Children who see words and letters backwards must have dyslexia.
Reading and writing letters backwards is not a sure sign of dyslexia. It is not unusual for young kids to confuse letters and write in reverse. It is common to see children up to second grade confuse d with b or write q instead of p. Some children with the learning challenge write backwards, and some don’t. Therefore, it is not a determining factor for dyslexia. However, if reversal persists beyond second grade, parents can get the child evaluated before jumping to conclusions.
Early signs of reading impairment or dyslexia can only be seen after initial years of education.
Longitudinal researches indicate that children with dyslexia have shown early signs as significant predictors of the impairment. These key predictors about reading include problems with letter knowledge, oral comprehension, expressive vocabulary, rapid automated naming, phonological awareness, word repetition. Without intervention, such children might find it challenging to acquire the average reading level as they journey through elementary school. Therefore, early intervention is essential.
Children with dyslexia are not intelligent and are lazy.
The International Dyslexia Association has stated that children with dyslexia have average to above-average intelligence. However, they might not have the ability to read on par with their intelligence level. Many gifted individuals who are excelling in their fields have dyslexia. Research also states that the brain works five times hard as other children. This condition could result in them feeling exhausted and frustrated, urging them to give up on the tasks beforehand. It does not reflect their willingness or ability to be active and get involved with school activities.
Children with dyslexia can never learn to read.
Kids and adults who have dyslexia do learn to read. But the challenge comes in the effort required to read. They remain to be manual readers who perform the activity with great effort. Most kids may not outgrow dyslexia and the challenges that come with it. However, with the right kind of education and training like Orton Gillingham, they can learn the cognitive processing skills required to manage their learning disability. The early and continuous intervention will help remedy their ability to read, write and spell.
A little more effort can alleviate the reading challenge.
It is not the effort but the technique that must be different in the way children with dyslexia learn to read. Studies show that their brain functions differently when compared to children without dyslexia. However, reading can slowly alter the neural connections over time, and they can learn to read better. The assumption is that they need to put more effort, but in reality, those with dyslexia require specific instruction and practice to sustain long-term reading habits. Trusted educators who use the Orton Gillingham approach use multisensory instructions to create new pathways for the children to learn.