Special Reports

Demystifying Dyslexia: Reading Through a Disability Misunderstood


Dyslexia has long been associated with having a low IQ or not getting the right education. Both of these are misconceptions because what dyslexia is simply having a really, really hard time reading.

The most common learning disability in the United States, dyslexia touches millions of lives and compels parents and schools to take action. Just exactly how many people have dyslexia around the world?

That's pretty complicated because it depends on which country and the language were talking about. Further, some people who suffers from this disorder hardly get a formal diagnosis. Studies in the US places it between 5 to 17 percent of the population.

Dyslexia is not something you outgrow, so people afflicted with this disorder will have to work long hours to learn how to work with and around it. A child with dyslexia can have above average comprehension and use a specific word in a dozen word or more but he really just can't read it.

While most of us believe that a person with dyslexia have a hard time seeing letters and identifying their order, it isn't so. There is also this notion that people with dyslexia have poor vocabulary, this is also not true.

So what happens when a dyslexic encounters a word? Chicago videographer Jonathan Gohrband says, "It's basically like looking at a foreign word." Gohrband, 31 has learned to manage dyslexia as part of his everyday life.

One way to put dyslexia is "word blindness". Dyslexics cannot process the written word like normal people do. They cannot break the symbols, identify sounds and make sense of how they are written together.

This is why reading requires countless hours of practice and words may have to be memorized so that they will be easier to remember. Children with dyslexia would need to have tutors to help them cope with the disorder. Parents need to have patience in teaching and practicing with their kids because it is laborious and exhausting .

The challenge can make people with dyslexia grow in different ways. Gohrband found his passion in videography where he can express in a different 'language' that he understands. Apart from creativity, Gohrband says his disability enabled him not to judge people too quickly and to adopt quickly when he is pushed out of his comfort zone.

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