Dyslexia Myths RevisitedSome information commonly given as truth about dyslexia is actually myth and bad information that can actually result in less help for dyslexics. Rational analysis is given about a few myths.
A major definitions of dyslexia is reading below your apparent intelligence level, the individuals that are the easiest to identify as dyslexic are those that have high I.Q.'s but read poorly. Individuals with below average I.Q.'s are expected to read below their grade level to start. It is a much harder task to identify dyslexics with below average I.Q.'s
Compounding the problem of identifying below average dyslexics is the fact that once someone is identified as being below average, reading standards are very ill defined. There are contributing reasons why reading standards are ill defined for the below average individual such as attitude and parental involvement. Individuals with a good attitude and helpful parental involvement can often attain average reading skills for the somewhat below average non-dyslexic where a poor attitude and limited parental involvement can result in an almost illiterate level from the equivalent non-dyslexic. When the teacher's ability and attitude towards the slower students in a class is included into the mix the results obtained are made even wider. Just because below average dyslexics are partly camouflaged by ill defined reading standards and difficult to identify does not mean they do not exist.
One of the biggest dyslexia myth involves the intelligence of dyslexics. Dyslexics are often told that because they are dyslexic they must be of average or above average intelligence. Let's think about what that means. It means that the dyslexic has been identified as being a poor reader or at least below grade level and is being told that he or she isn't stupid, has actually been trying hard and is not being lazy. Also they have a condition that makes reading more difficult than a person without dyslexia. This is a feel good statement and since dyslexics are often frustrated about how difficult it is gaining reading skills it is often beneficial to learn that not everyone thinks they are slow for their failure to read at expected levels.
If not for the fact that many professionals, teachers and parents who are involved in identifying dyslexics believe the myth and therefore do not consider dyslexia as a possible condition for those individuals who are below average no damage would be done. Adding diagnosed to the statement that dyslexics are of average to above average intelligence would be a temporary solution. This actually reflects what is being seen. It would also allow the same good feeling statement to be made to dyslexics because the statement that diagnosed dyslexics are generally of average or above average intelligence is true. Hopefully it will also be a motivating factor to consider people who have below average intelligence and reading problems to have dyslexia considered as the cause.
It is also a myth that Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison were dyslexic. That they both did not fit in well at school and had their own learning techniques probably gave someone the idea that they were dyslexic.They were both very well read and really are not a good model of someone with a reading disorder. There are many real dyslexics that have been very successful whose dyslexia and success are not in question. I think it would be better to amend those lists to only include real dyslexics.
It is a myth that there is no visual component to dyslexia. While it was once thought that all dyslexia had a visual cause this turned out to be false. In much the same way that dyslexics were determined to be of average or above average intelligence, when experiments were done to examine the visual aspects of dyslexia most dyslexics were found not to have visual problems. That most dyslexics do not have visual problems does not mean that no dyslexics have visual problems as a cause of their dyslexia. There is a subgroup of dyslexics that can be called visual dyslexics.
Visual dyslexics suffer from an assortment of problems can be described as visual problems that make reading difficult.Some of the more common symptoms involve motion such as the letters seeming to jitter of having the words appear to be behind a waterfall. Other common problems can be described as having parts of the words obscured as if by light. Imagine if you will a graffiti vandal masking out letters on freeway signs but doing it differently for each dyslexic. For some dyslexics he masks the first letter or two in each word. For some he masks out middle letters and for others he might draw horizontal lines through the top, middle or bottom of the words. For these visual dyslexics reading is similar to playing "wheel of fortune" where all the visual information to accurately
understand what is written is just not available. It is also understandable that this condition slows down reading speed and after a point also makes comprehension difficult.
It is interesting how dyslexia went from all dyslexics have a visual component to no dyslexics have a visual component. When optometrists were consulted for their opinion about vision affecting dyslexics they already had a long list of eye problems that could adversely affect the vision of non-dyslexics. When dyslexics were compared to that list of eye problems there was no difference between them and non-dyslexics. That there might be dyslexic specific problems that could be added to their list of problems was not something they really considered. The conclusion that they made should have really read " dyslexics do not suffer from anything on our list of problems that affect the vision of non-dyslexics". That dyslexics do have a higher rate of poor depth perception than non-dyslexics continues to be ignored by optometrists partly because they have not been successful correcting that.
The prescription color theory where a particular color is needed to correct the vision of a particular dyslexic has had some success. The argument that all that limited success is do to the placebo effect is a weak one. That the success rate is low and the quality standard is one of does this color help you more than that color along with being oversold has pretty much discredited the theory. The fact remains that there has been some success with filtered lenses for some dyslexics. The cost of the personal evaluation and lack of a guarantee for those dyslexics that try that method and receive no benefit also makes it hard to recommend.
Even the MRI research that is now the basis for much information about how dyslexic's brains are different once claimed to prove that dyslexics see differently than non dyslexics. This has now changed with the latest thought that dyslexia is a left brain/right brain processing problem. The little girl who said all the letters seem to be walking who was involved it the study that said dyslexics see differently has been forgotten and her visual problem has never been explained by later studies. It is hard to understand the need for a single cause to a complex problem such as dyslexia that has not yet found any universal answer.
A new product offered on the Internet, See Right Dyslexia Glasses, has taken a different approach towards visual dyslexia in what they claim to do and by offering a money back guarantee. The claim for the glasses is: that for the visual dyslexic that can describe a visual problem that makes it difficult to read the See Right Dyslexia Glasses will remove that problem.They are available at www.dyslexiaglasses.com . Because the glasses take the different filtering approach of filtering out all the wavelengths that cause all the visual dyslexia problems for all visual dyslexics that make reading difficult, no personal evaluation is necessary. The high success rate for the see Right Dyslexia Glasses also allows for a money back guarantee for any reason. As a bonus for the dyslexics with poor depth perception normal depth perception is restored when wearing the glasses.
One of the first people the filters were tried on was a 20 year old special education student who did not know his alphabet and had never read a word. The alphabet was written down twice, once in order and once scrambled. He was asked to match A-A B-B etc. He could only match 13 letters. When he put what became the See Right Dyslexia Glasses on he could match all 26 letters. In 3 days he could read the alphabet from flash cards and after a week wrote his mother his first note with help spelling the words. This experience with Chris was my motivation to continue with a product to help visual dyslexics and a crusade to prod the dyslexia industry to consider that even below average people might be dyslexic and need appropriate help.
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