Having Trouble Learning? You Might Have Dyslexia!

Did you know that around one in ten American adults have dyslexia? To give an estimate, that’s around 40 million people! The worrying thing is that only around two million of those adults even know they have it! The other 38 million are struggling with general reading and writing every day of their lives, kicking themselves because – instead of improving with the treatment they need – they probably think there’s something wrong with their intelligence! This couldn’t be further from the truth though – greats like Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Edison were both dyslexic.

In fact, people with dyslexia are usually highly intelligent in all other areas. The learning difficulty known as dyslexia only affects a person’s proper comprehension of language and words. This includes having difficulty reading, spelling, comprehending and identifying words, as well as memorizing lists of words.

There is no real known cause of dyslexia; however, theories include issues with phonological awareness (the distinction between contrasting voice sounds), an issue with the area of the brain that creates short-term memories for spoken words, a problem with the visual, auditory, neurological or linguistic processes involved with recognizing written words or a genetic predisposition.

Unfortunately, because there’s no recognized cause, there’s also no cure. The good news is that it’s manageable with specialized treatment, so if you suspect you or someone you know might have dyslexia after reading the below symptoms, it’s best to see a doctor for proper diagnosis. If you have a number of the below symptoms, you may have dyslexia:

You had difficulty learning the alphabet as a child – this includes learning the sounds and names of the letters, as well as their sequence. Many children with dyslexia learn the alphabet song by rote, but cannot say each individual letter without the song.

You cannot read to your level, despite having no other learning issues – you have trouble with pronunciation and don’t recognize spelling mistakes as easily as somebody without dyslexia

You’re unable to associate sounds to symbols – which means as a child, you would have had difficulty matching the sound of the word ‘cat’ for example, with the sight of a cat. This means you had to work twice as hard to learn the correct words for items.

Your writing is below average for your intelligence – you can annunciate words really well, but when you attempt to write them down, you have difficulty doing so and other people have difficulty reading your writing.

No matter how many times you read or write a word, you still have difficulty spelling it – you can memorize strings of letters for a short while, but forget them very quickly. You also have trouble with short vowel discrimination and often omit or add vowels in the wrong places.

You have trouble writing letters that you should know – this includes forgetting what a letter looks like and getting the direction of letters or numbers (like q’s, g’s, 3’s and 5’s) mixed up.

You often add the wrong letter to a word – this means mixing up similar looking letters and symbols, such as mistaking a ‘w’ for an ‘m’, a ‘b’ for a ‘d’, a ‘p’ for a ‘q’ etc.

You mix letters up within words – this means you transpose letters into the wrong space, like the words ‘left’, which you may write as ‘felt’, ‘how’ may become ‘who’, ‘the’ may become ‘teh’ etc.

You may have difficulty with direction – you may muddle up your lefts and rights, befores and afters, under and over etc.

You have a bad memory when it comes to recalling names and words – you may have a good memory for other things, but have difficulty recalling names and words

You have trouble following directions – you struggle to read and memorize a list of instructions and need to continuously refer back to them. If you’re copying from a sign or board, you need to take down one letter at a time, otherwise you forget.

You have a short attention span – although, your listening skills may be fine

You have a history of dyslexia in your family – however, this is not a certainty

You are intelligent in all other areas and may be above average intelligence – if you’re brilliant in other areas, such as math, lateral thinking, art or anything else that doesn’t require reading and writing, it’s a good indication of dyslexia. Most dyslexic people have above average intelligence!

This is not a complete list, but if you recognize many of these characteristics in yourself, see a doctor, as there are steps you can take to make life easier.

The CFS Team
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