World Dyslexia Day: Everything You Need To Know About Dyslexia
World Dyslexia Day - Family Psychology Place

World Dyslexia Day: Everything You Need To Know About Dyslexia

As October begins, it marks International Dyslexia Month and World Dyslexia Day. Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disorders in the world, with over 750,000 Canadian students having this disorder. Most often, many people have misconceptions about dyslexia. It encompasses more than jumbled letters or words floating around on a page. It’s a neurological condition that makes it difficult to accurately read and write fluently. Today, to help shed light on dyslexia, many learning disabilities assessments can help affected individuals find coping strategies to aid them.

World Dyslexia Day helps encourage, support and advocate for people with dyslexia in schools and the workplace. To help participate in World Dyslexia Day and International Dyslexia Month, we’ll be discussing the history of World Dyslexia Day, common symptoms, and going more in-depth about dyslexia.

What is World Dyslexia Day?

World Dyslexia Day occurs every year on October 8. What many people take for granted, like being able to comprehend text, speak fluently, or even write accurately, are areas that many dyslexic people struggle with. People with dyslexia may struggle with reading, writing, vocabulary, and tasks that require hand-eye coordination and often cannot read or write quickly without errors. Dyslexia makes up about 80-90% of all learning disorders.

In order to help raise awareness about these issues and what can be done to help cope with this disorder, World Dyslexia Day was created.

History of World Dyslexia Day

The European Dyslexia Association created World Dyslexia Day back in 2002 to help highlight the difficulties that dyslexic people face, help spread awareness, and curb the negative stigma that is often associated with dyslexia. It gives everyday people opportunities to learn more about dyslexia.

One of the goals of World Dyslexia Day is to educate people and spread awareness about this disorder. When left undiagnosed, many dyslexics are often labelled lazy, slow learners, unmotivated or other negative stereotypes. It is important to note that while there is no cure for dyslexia, it can be treated. Affected individuals will need therapy, innovative methods to help them learn, and consistent care given by caregivers to help them live a life where their learning difficulties can be managed.

Why World Dyslexia Day Is Important

With the prevalence of dyslexia worldwide, it’s important to spread awareness about this learning disorder to better advocate for educational support and inclusivity for dyslexic individuals.

There are many negative stereotypes about dyslexic people. By helping celebrate World Dyslexia Day, you can help abolish some of the misconceptions and educate people about what dyslexia actually is. World Dyslexia Day also helps connect those with dyslexia and those around them to form communities, share resources, and encourage each other to live a full life.

What Is Dyslexia?

As mentioned previously, dyslexia is a learning disorder where part of the brain responsible for processing language has difficulty doing so. It can involve trouble with reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and decoding their context to other words around them. It’s essential to recognize that dyslexia has no connection to a person’s overall intelligence. While people with dyslexia can have difficulties reading and writing, they often are very fast and creative thinkers with strong reasoning abilities.

People who have dyslexia can experience difficulties matching letters they see on the page with the sounds and combinations that the letters make. There currently is no “cure” for dyslexia. Still, with the right support, a person can learn new methods to cope with their dyslexia to lead a full and successful life.

The World’s Hardest-to-Read Website is a resource created by Dyslexia Canada and gives a visual experience of what dyslexia appears like to those affected by it.

What Are the Symptoms of Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is best understood as a cluster of symptoms rather than a singular symptom. Some symptoms can include reading difficulties, issues with writing, pronunciation, and language comprehension. When dyslexia is left undiagnosed, it can affect one’s self-esteem, confidence, and self-worth. If you believe your child may have dyslexia, it’s best to bring them to a child psychologist for a learning disability assessment.

To help you build a better framework for the symptoms of dyslexia in different age groups, we’ve created the following list.

Preschool Years

  • Trouble learning common nursery rhymes, such as “Jack and Jill”
  • Difficulty learning and remembering the letters in the alphabet
  • Unable to recognize letters in their own name
  • Mispronounces familiar words; persistent “baby talk”
  • Doesn’t recognize rhyming patterns like cat, bat, rat
  • A family history of reading and/or spelling difficulties (dyslexia often runs in families)

Kindergarten & First Grade

  • Reading mistakes that show no connection to the sounds of the letters on the page –for example, they might read “kitty” even if “cat” is written on an illustrated page with a picture of a cat
  • Complains about how hard reading is
  • Cannot sound out even simple words like cat, map, nap
  • Does not associate letters with sounds, such as the letter b with the “b” sound

Second Grade Through High School

  • Slow reading skills: when reading aloud, it’s slow and awkward
  • Issues with unfamiliar words, they may make wild guesses about the pronunciation since they often will have issues sounding out the word
  • Doesn’t have a strategy for reading new words
  • Avoids reading out loud
  • Searches for a specific word and ends up using vague language, such as “stuff” or “thing,” without naming the object
  • Pauses, hesitates, and/or uses lots of “um” when speaking
  • Confuses words that sound alike, such as saying “tornado” for “volcano,” substituting “lotion” for “ocean”
  • Mispronunciation of long, unfamiliar or complicated words
  • Seems to need extra time to respond to questions
  • Trouble remembering dates, names, telephone numbers, random lists
  • Struggles to finish tests on time
  • Extreme difficulty learning a foreign language
  • Poor spelling and others may struggle to read what a student with dyslexia wrote as it often doesn’t make “phonological sense”
  • Messy handwriting
  • Low self-esteem that may not be immediately visible

Young Adults & Adults

  • A childhood history of reading and spelling difficulties
  • While reading skills have developed over time, reading still requires great effort and is done at a slow pace
  • Slow reading of most materials, such as books, manuals, and subtitles in films
  • Avoids reading aloud
  • Earlier oral language difficulties persist, including a lack of fluency and confidence
  • Frequent use of “um” and imprecise language; and general anxiety when speaking
  • Often pronounces the names of people and places incorrectly; trips over parts of words
  • Difficulty remembering names of people and places; confuses names that sound alike
  • Spoken vocabulary is smaller than listening vocabulary
  • Avoids saying words that might be mispronounced
  • Despite good grades, they may often say they’re dumb or are concerned peers think they are dumb
  • Performs rote clerical tasks poorly

How The Family Psychology Place Can Help

Dyslexia can be difficult to deal with, but you do not have to go through it alone.. When supported, many people thrive and lead successful, flourishing lives. The first step is always finding a psychology clinic to do a learning disability assessment and then develop strategies and methods to work with the symptoms of dyslexia. Here at The Family Psychology place, our psychologists have a diverse range of specialties that all work collaboratively to help our clients achieve their goals and overcome their difficulties.

Our psychologists evaluate those who come in for a learning disability assessment by putting them through a series of tests to gauge their reasoning, academic, executive functioning, memory, attention skills, and more. Educational assessments help identify a child’s learning strengths and weaknesses. These thorough, comprehensive assessments can take between 12 to 15 hours to complete.

To learn more about our learning assessments and educational supports, contact us today or book an appointment.