Monday, August 26, 2013

While most people think dyslexia is just reading backwards, it is actually far more than that. Dyslexia is the way the brain thinks and transmits signals.   When people without dyslexia think or hear something, the information just goes to one side of the brain for processing and stops. When people with dyslexia hear or think of something, it starts off on one side of the brain for processing and moves to the opposite side of the brain for further processing. Functional MRI scans show these differences. While the MRI scans of those without dyslexia, “light up” on one side of the brain while the person is reading, the brain of the dyslexic “lights ups” on both hemispheres. This is why dyslexics take longer to read and write. Dyslexia isn’t a matter of intelligence.  They have at least an average IQ and most have an above average IQ.
Some people find it shocking that one in five people are dyslexic. The Connecticut Longitudinal Study conducted by Yale provided the data for this determination. In other words, every classroom has several children that are dyslexic.  
Dyslexics are 40% more likely to become millionaires than the average person according to a study in England. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, John Chambers, Charles Schwab, Tommy Hilfiger, Bill Hewlett, Henry Ford, Ted Turner, and Ingvar Kamprad are just a few millionaires who are dyslexic. It’s not known whether their success comes from the way in which their brains process information or because they have learned to work hard to be successful. Either way, dyslexics learn very early on to work hard because they often struggle in school.
While I am dyslexic, I do not read backwards or see letters backwards as many people think.  Dyslexia for me is really about  having difficulty with reading, writing, and rote memorization. Orton Gillingham is an evidence-based method that teaches dyslexics to read and write. It is a multisensory, phonetic approach to teaching reading. I am being tutored by the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana.  They have helped me to improve my ability to read and they are working with me to improve my ability to express myself in writing. 

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