OCTOBER – It’s Dyslexia Awareness Month

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October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. It is important to raise awareness of Dyslexia. Did you know that 10% of the population of Ireland (around 450,00 people), 10% of the UK (7.3 million people) and 5%-15% of people in the USA (that’s 14.5 to 43.5 million people) are diagnosed with dyslexia? That means that around three children in every classroom could be struggling with learning because they have dyslexic tendencies. These numbers are staggering. But what does it mean? Dyslexia is a learning disability. It means that people with a dyslexia diagnosis have trouble with reading, comprehension, spelling and writing. It has nothing to do with intelligence. Over the last 30 years, research in Dyslexia has meant we now know much more about how this condition affects the brain. There are ’reading pathways’ that we use when we are looking text. The dyslexic brain does not follow the typical pathways that a non-dyslexic person would. This means that areas of the brain process written text differently, and therefore people with this learning issue struggle when reading.
Despite the development in research during the last 30 years, there are still many myths that are widely believed about dyslexia. Here are three of the most common ones dispelled.
Myths about dyslexia
1. People with dyslexia are stupid
False. There are many highly intelligent people who have been diagnosed with dyslexia. It does not affect intelligence. Nor does it mean you are not clever. Dyslexic means that a part of the brain is wired differently. In many ways, people with dyslexia have hidden ‘superpowers’ that they can use, a sort of enhanced understanding or awareness of other areas, like shape or perhaps colour organisation. Dyslexic people are often very talented in the arts.
2. Dyslexic people cannot read because the letters jump around the page
False. Although this could be the case for some people, dyslexia affects different people in different ways. Some pupils I have worked with see letters moving around, but not all students experience this. Sometimes letters appear in a different order to the dyslexic person when they are reading. Sometimes certain letters just disappear altogether. Sometimes a simple solution like a coloured filter overlay on top of a book or worksheet prevents this type of problem from occurring and makes it easier for a dyslexic person to read a text.
3. Dyslexic people cannot spell
This is also not true. Many dyslexic people can successfully learn anecdotal ways to remember spelling rules or relate rules to pictures or stories. Having this kind of mental-visual aid can help students with dyslexia to remember common spelling rules. Did you know around 50-85% of words in the English language follow the most common spelling rules? This means that if a child knows the rules, they can spell over ¾ of words correctly. There are many strategies that teachers and specialist tutors can use to help children find ways to remember these rules.
If you would like to know a little more about how you can tell if your child had dyslexia, you can read my blog post here: https://www.emeraldeducationcentrebundoran.com/single-post/how-do-you-know-if-your-child-has-dyslexia. This blog post goes into detail about phonological awareness, verbal memory and processing speed and how these can be major issues for a child with dyslexia.
If you think your child may be dyslexic, the chances are you have already searched Google for ‘dyslexia testing near me’ or something similar. The good news is that here at Emerald Education Centre, we can offer you a screening test either at our centre here in Bundoran, Donegal, Ireland or we can set up doing the testing online, which means you can take this test anywhere in the world!. This is simple to set up – don’t worry, I can talk you through everything, step by step. The Dyslexia screener is a series of 6 small sub-tests. Your child can carry out the test in the comfort of their own home, taking away the fear and discomfort of visiting an unfamiliar place and helping your child to be at ease. You can also find out more about our Dyslexia screening service here: https://www.emeraldeducationcentrebundoran.com/dyslexia-dyscalculia-screening
Emerald Education Centre offers online tuition and in-person lessons at our centre in Bundoran, Donegal. For more information about how we can help YOUR child, please do get in touch with Elaine Lingard at elaine@emeraldeducationcentrebundoran.com, call or message on (00353) 083 8550210, check out our Facebook page or visit our website.

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