Dyslexic Isn't Stupid Some of the Smartest People Are Dyslexic
Brilliant dyslexic: Albert Einstein.
kid in grade school who struggled to keep up with the others
when it came to reading? Every time the teacher called that name
for reading out loud, the whole class groaned. Maybe you
were that embarrassed young person.
the poor reader just wasn't as smart as the rest of the class.
That may have been a big mistake. The problem may have been undiagnosed
dyslexia. People who have this brain disorder are usually as smart,
or even smarter, than average. Historians report that George Washington
had dyslexia and so did Albert Einstein.
What is dyslexia?
The word comes from the Greek words for difficult and words.
that explains dyslexia. People with dyslexia have difficulty understanding
language sounds, recognizing the meaning of written words, and
spelling words accurately. It is a learning disability that stems
from the brain's inability to process written words and symbols
of the brain that are active in the processing of written words
in most people are different than the areas that the dyslexic's
tend to be creative and are often gifted performers in areas that
do not require reading. Many gifted artists are dyslexic. One
young girl who was severely dyslexic was a talented dancer and
choreographer. The written symbols that she needed to use in her
dance notation were not a problem. She explained, " I just
think of the notation as pictures. I've never had a problem with
like Einstein, excel in mathematics and physics. These fields
depend more on abstract reasoning and other talents that are not
involved in the word processing problem. Untreated dyslexics often
suffer in school and have extreme problems with self esteem.
can train their brains to use the normal pathways if the condition
is diagnosed early. Even if it cannot be reversed, there are many
tools to help work around the problem so that the dyslexic child
- or grownup - can achieve the success that is blocked by the
Here are some
signs to look for in children who are in kindergarten through
4th grade from the journal Neurology:
slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds.
decoding single words (reading single words in isolation).
consistent reading and spelling errors such as letter and
May confuse small words: "at"
for "to," "said" for "and,"
"does" for "goes."
children are individuals and they develop at their own pace. All
of these symptoms can be normal at some stage in a child's development.
If you see a three year old who is holding a pencil in an awkward
grip, it may be a normal stage. Even some perfectly normal kindergartners
will still have some of these traits.
If some of
these signs are present and they are not consistent with the child's
age and other intellectual abilities, a trained professional should
administer a test for dyslexia. Self diagnosis or diagnosis by
untrained people - even teachers - will not help. The diagnosis
of dyslexia has specific causes and treatments.
If you suspect
that a child you know is suffering from dyslexia - get a professional
disabilities are true physical disabilities. A child with a broken
leg would not be ridiculed for not being able to keep up in gym.
Just because you can't see the problem doesn't change the reality.
With the proper therapy, the dyslexic will be able to join in
and may even enjoy reading!