What Dyslexia is Not

May 6, 2013 by DrDonna

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty, nothing more

What Dyslexia is NotWhenever a child has difficulty in school, many questions cross a  parent’s mind: is my child’s intelligence below? Is there a medical problem?

When parents think of dyslexia, they often have concerns on both fronts, i..e, that dyslexia is related to IQ and that it is some kid of medical condition, like a virus.

That’s why it’s important to understand what dyslexia is and what dyslexia is not.  In particular, it is important to understand the misconceptions around dyslexia and intelligence.

Dyslexia Has Nothing to Do With Intelligence

Dyslexia is not related to IQ. Your child could be the next Einstein and have dyslexia, or he could be gifted in other types of intelligence, such as kinesthetic, and become the next all-star athlete. Similarly, your child could have a very high IQ or an average IQ and still have dyslexia.

Dyslexia is a learning issue, related to cognitive skills, mainly language processing.

Academic success is the product (among many other things) of IQ and learning ability.  This is good news, because cognitive skills can be improved.  What dyslexia is not is some kind of affliction that cannot be treated.

Dyslexia is a Language Problem

A second  area of misconception likes around the fact that dyslexia is a language processing problem. In only a tiny percentage of cases is dyslexia caused by visual difficulties.  Reading is a language skill that depends on listening and reading, and dyslexia can result whenever listening or reading skills are delayed.

For example, your child’s listening skills depend on his ability to hear the different sounds of words. If he mistakes the word “fan” for “van,” his brain interprets a very different meaning of what you are saying. He may not be able to hear the difference in these words or break down the words into sounds. This affects his reading.

These causes of dyslexia are cognitive, which is why cognitive software like Fast ForWord software is effective for dyslexia.