The truth about dyslexia: Debunking the myths

3 mins read

Our society is made up of a plethora of misinformation, for every factual google search, there’s 100 links to articles filling your head with unhelpful myths and people determined to distort the facts.

This is no different for the neurodivergent community, where misinformation spreads like wildfire and a lack of representation rings too true.

Neurodiversity is a term used to explain how peoples brains think and function differently, not disordered, just different.

Neurodivergence includes many developmental differences in the brain such as autism, ADHD, dyspraxia and dyslexia.

Whilst most of these differences more often than not, co-exist with one another, this article will focus specifically on dyslexia and debunking the myths our society continues to hold on to.

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia can be described as a continuum of difficulties in learning and processing. Whilst many people still believe that you grow out of this, or that it’s simply a struggle to read and write, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Image credit – Touch, Type Read and Spell

Dyslexics can struggle with auditory and visual processing, phonological awareness, oral language skills, working memory, organisational skills and a plethora of other traits.

To minimise it down to spelling mistakes and confusion is insulting and inaccurate. It is not simply small children who write words backwords, or adults who can’t spell.

Dyslexia is a developmental difference in the brain, that with the right support and tools individuals can be empowered by their difference, whilst allowing themselves to focus on the promotion of their positive qualities to their neurological difference.

Where did the word come from?

The word itself is not helping either. It’s an odd mix of Greek and Latin, the ‘dys’ meaning difficult and ‘lexia’ meaning word, what chance is there when it translates to ‘difficult word’.

So instead we must focus on the individual’s lived experience and listen to how their brain process the world.

Neurodivergent individuals deserve to be understood, accepted, respected, and their differences celebrated just as much as anyone else.

I’ve said it one thousand times and I’ll keep saying it, accommodating differences helps everyone thrive.

If we could collectively understand that these differences are a natural and normal variation of the human genome, it would encourage individuals to reject the ingrained negativity that surrounds those that live, learn and view the world through a different lens.

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