Myths About Dyslexia

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Myth: Children who write letters backwards or in reverse order may be dyslexic.

Fact: Backwards writing is common among many children, whether they are dyslexic or not, in the early stages of writing development. Dyslexic children may be able to copy letters quite well.

Myth: Dyslexia is a visual problem.

Fact: The bulk of research now suggests that reading problems stem from difficulties with language rather than vision. Researchers think dyslexic children have trouble identifying phonemes--the sounds that make up words, such as the "cuh" sound in "cat."

Myth: Children can outgrow dyslexia.

Fact: Dyslexic children become dyslexic adults. If they are identified and given the right kind of help early, poor readers can learn to compensate for their disability and to read accurately, but reading may always be difficult for them. Researchers say that reading-disabled children whose problems are not caught by age 9 will not catch up with their nondisabled peers by the time they graduate from high school.

Myth: More boys than girls are dyslexic.

Fact: As many girls as boys suffer from reading disabilities, studies by Yale University researchers suggest. Girls' reading problems, however, are frequently undetected.

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