Dyslexia Awareness Week: Dispelling Myths 5 + 6

Myth 5: People with dyslexia see things backwards.

Fact: Dyslexia is not caused by a vision problem, although reading difficulties very often are. Children need to have their eyes (and ears) checked regularly – and if there is a reading problem make sure the optometrist knows this. There are lots of exercises and strategies that can be used. If these sort the reading problem out, then the difficulty is not likely to be dyslexia.

Yes, they often reverse b/d, p/q, 6/9, 2/5, m/w and muddle ‘was’ and ‘saw’. But that’s caused by sequencing and directional confusion and working memory difficulties.

Myth 6: Dyslexia is rare.

Fact: Dyslexia affects about 20% of our population. That’s 1 out of every 5 people on a wide continuum of difficulty.

2 thoughts on “Dyslexia Awareness Week: Dispelling Myths 5 + 6

  1. The author said “Yes, they often reverse b/d, p/q, 6/9, 2/5, m/w and muddle ‘was’ and ‘saw’.”
    This reversal is common among many children – dyslexic or otherwise.
    Many children, including non dyslexic children do this till they are in primary two simply because they have not learnt to change their view point as yet. This is called spatial orientation I believe. Let me try and explain.

    We teach a child to say ‘car’ when she sees it from the front end, we also call it a car when she it sees it from the behind, from either side or even from the top (say, when we are standing on a balcony and point to a car below).

    When a child goes to kindergarten the child continues this mind set until she realizes her mistake. The teacher now shows her the letter ‘b’ and she has no problem learning this. Then the teacher turns it around and calls it ‘d’. Even the sound is similar to ‘b’. The teacher then turns it upside down and calls it ‘p’ and again turns ‘p’ the other way around and calls it ‘q’. This is where the confusion comes in as for the first 5 or 6 years a car (or anything else for that matter) is a car regardless of from what angle she sees it from. Now it is not the same with letters.

    The same applies for 6/9, 2/5, m/w and was/saw.

    As such to say a child is dyslexic or that this is one of the signs that a child is dyslexic is not quite correct. I have seen many non dyslexic children making this mistake.
    Thank you and kind regards,
    Luqman Michel

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