Dyslexia is the most common specific learning difference and occurs in at least 10% of the population. Dyslexia is a life-long condition and affects the way information can be received, processed and expressed. Children with dyslexia may have difficulty with reading, writing and spelling and some may have additional issues like trouble with numbers (dyscalculia).
It is important to remember that dyslexia is NOT a reflection of persons’ intelligence. It is a different way of processing information. People with dyslexia will have many other strengths in different areas, for example they may be very creative (I am not!) or be great with technology (again…not my strong point!).
Unfortunately, issues with reading and writing will often lead to low self-esteem and a lack of confidence in other areas. Students who can’t read will often feel different to those around them which impacts on their love of learning.
Our schools are getting much better at identifying learning differences such as dyslexia and putting in place strategies to ensure that all students feel valued and can participate in the learning in the classroom in a way that suits their learning style.
Earlier this year I read an article (Stellar, February 17, 2019) on Vincent Fantauzzo who is one of Australia’s most successful artists and is married to Asher Keddie, one of our most successful actors. Vincent left school at the age of 13. He says his school days were difficult due to his struggle with dyslexia. Vincent goes on to say that “A lot of people are ashamed of being dyslexic, but they shouldn’t be. Dyslexia is a gift – a superpower.”
Vincent is now an ambassador for Code Read Dyslexia Network and says that even though he still struggles with reading, writing and short-term memory issues, “I live a really unique lifestyle. I have my dream job, and I’m successful at it. I love my life. And I think a lot of it’s due to being dyslexic.”
We all have our challenges. I’ve talked before about my complete lack of artistic ability for example. It is so important for us to remind ourselves and our children that we are all different and those differences make us who we are. Let’s find out what we’re good at and celebrate that! Let’s celebrate those schools that have truly inclusive classrooms where everyone can learn, no matter what their challenges are.
If your child has dyslexia and has a teacher who works hard to create an inclusive classroom setting for all students – thank them and tell them how grateful you are that they are making a difference.
Dyslexia is a specialty of ours here at Reading Connections. If you have any questions or wonder how we can help your child, please contact us. We love making a difference too!