A Way with Words

In 1883 a German ophthalmologist was treating a young boy who was struggling to read and write. It turned out that the child was intelligent and the doctor could not identify any issues with his sight. He used the term dyslexia to describe the condition. In a few years the condition became known as word blindness.

It took society 100 years to change our thinking about dyslexia from a consequence of educational deficiencies to a neurological disability. Those with dyslexia have been stigmatized for most of time, since the invention of the written word. Only recently have educational institutions been able to diagnose and develop special teaching approaches for those with dyslexia.

For many years, few researchers studied dyslexia. A number of myths grew up around the origins of dyslexia. There was a time when dyslexia was thought to be limited to those from privileged families. Dyslexia was not thought to be treatable.

Advocacy groups did a lot to advance an understanding of dyslexia. Since the advances in neuroimaging such as fMRI and PET technologies there are now tests to assess whether a person has dyslexia. A number of strategies have been developed to help those with dyslexia.

Advances in assessment and treatment of those with dyslexia have given hope to those with the condition. And that’s not a small number of people. Estimates range from 5%-17% of people with dyslexia conditions with a higher percentage of males. It is the most common learning disability.

Imagine those who have had hopes lost because they were misdiagnosed. We would have lost as a society by not realizing the talents of those who have dyslexia. With the advances in medical science, how many more hopes might be realized in the future?

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Dyslexia can grow up to be Very Successful, just ask…

Alexander Graham Bell                  Whoopi Goldberg

Albert Einstein                                Walt Disney

John Lennon                                  Nolan Ryan

Muhammad Ali                               Greg Louganis

Steven Spielberg                           Jay Leno

Henry Winkler                                Agatha Christie

Tom Cruise                                    Keira Knightley

How To Use

Useful guides for incorporating messages into discussion.