Dyslexia Awareness Week: The end to all myths!

Myth: Dyslexia affects four times more boys than girls.

Fact: Although more boys are assessed than girls, research shows that dyslexia affects just as many girls as boys.

So why are more boys sent for testing than girls? It’s often because of their behaviour.

Boys traditionally are more likely to ‘act out’ their frustration when they can’t do classroom assignments or homework. They’d rather be seen to be ‘bad’ than ‘stupid’. ‘Acting out’ behaviour draws attention and teachers begin the assessment process.

Often, when girls can’t do the work, they tend to get quiet, try to become invisible and / or use their friends to support them. So traditionally, they don’t get noticed as early.

Myth: Every child who struggles with reading is a learner with dyslexia.

Fact: Dyslexia is not the only reason a child will struggle with reading. Children may lack experience in early language development for many reasons; they may have emotional issues that prevent them from availing themselves of appropriate learning opportunities; they may have or have had hearing or sight loss that impacts on the acquisition of literacy. They may have other significant difficulties which causes delay in literacy development.

Dyslexia will affect more than just literacy. Associated difficulties can be: auditory and / or visual processing of language based information, phonological awareness, oral language skills, reading fluency, working memory, sequencing, number skills, organisational ability and motor skills and co-ordination.

The more warning signs children and young people have, the more confident you can be that dyslexia may be the cause of their academic struggles. It is by considering children’s responses to the changes we make to meet their learning needs that we know whether they are learners with dyslexia or not, and to what extent dyslexia affects learning.  

Myth: Children with dyslexia are just lazy. If only they tried harder…

I’m not even going to bother with this one!

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