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  • Russ Thompson


May 16, 2022.

Dyslexia is a visual processing disorder that makes it difficult to identify letters. Sometimes they appear upside down, so a "b" might look like a "p". Sometimes they appear backwards, so a "b" might look like a "d." A study by Yale University researchers Dr. Sally Shaywitz and Dr. Bennett Shaywitz found that one in five people are affected by dyslexia.

People with dyslexia often aren't sure what letters they are looking at. This slows down the decoding process and makes it extremely difficult to read words. As a result, comprehension suffers. Other symptoms of dyslexia include extremely poor spelling, as well as writing that includes letter reversals.

Students with dyslexia frequently come to believe they are not capable of learning. They give up on themselves, become alienated, and quit trying. Researchers in Louisiana found that fifty percent of the inmates at the Elayne Hunt Correctional Center were affected by dyslexia.

There are also countless people who have overcome dyslexia and gone on to achieve at high levels. The list includes businessperson Richard Branson, television journalist Anderson Cooper, actor Tom Cruise, actor and comedian Whoopi Goldberg, author John Irving, California governor Gavin Newsom, actor Keira Knightly, comedian Jay Leno, businessperson Charles Schwab, and actor Henry Winkler.

If you are a parent and your child is having trouble with reading, the answers are out there. Children who are dyslexic can overcome it. And the sooner your child gets help, the sooner the improvements will come.

To find out more, a good resource is The Reading Well. This is a great website for parents and educators with information and teaching strategies to help students affected by dyslexia. It was created by Michael Bates, a parent who was searching for answers to help his own child who was struggling to read.

See more about dyslexia in this report for CBS Sunday Morning by Susan Spencer:

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