About a Disability: Dyslexia

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In the past I have discussed certain disabilities such as schizophrenia and plan to do so with other disabilities in the future. This week I want to talk a little about dyslexia. While I personally do not have dyslexia it has impacted people very close to me throughout my life and I have had a great deal of experience seeing them cope with it.

Unlike other disabilities when people think about dyslexia they may not think of a life threatening or debilitating disorder, and it is not, but it can certainly be life changing so it is important for people to be aware of what is means and how to handle dyslexia, whether you have it or others around you.

Dyslexia is a lifelong challenge that people are born with; it is a language processing disorder that hinders reading, writing, spelling, and sometimes even speaking. It is important to note that dyslexia is not a sign of poor intelligence or laziness and it is not the result of impaired vision. Children and adults with dyslexia simply have a neurological disorder that causes their brains to process and interpret information differently.

Dyslexia occurs among people of all economic and ethnic backgrounds. Often more than one member of a family has dyslexia. According to the National Institute of Child and Human Development, as many as 15 percent of Americans have major troubles with reading.

Although there is no cure for dyslexia, with help and support individuals can learn to overcome this learning disability and learn to read and write with a variety of educational tools that are available. There are also techniques and technical aids that can manage and sometimes conceal the symptoms of dyslexia. Oftentimes removing stress and anxiety can greatly improve written comprehension in a person with the disorder.

Symptoms of Dyslexia
• Difficulty reading, writing or spelling, often confuses right from left
• Does not test well, despite intelligence, with severe anxiety about testing
• Daydreams or zones out in a classroom or at meetings and lectures
• Prefers “hands-on” learning to verbal or written instruction
• Sees moving letters when reading or writing and flips letters around
• Can read and reread passages without comprehension
• Has difficulty spelling words correctly and putting thoughts into words
• Cannot write or copy words down easily and tends to hold pen tightly or different
• Illegible handwriting and has difficulty with time management
• Might procrastinate, be disorderly and tends to be good at math but has difficulty with word problems

The important thing to remember is that anyone with a disability is not alone. Maybe it’s just me but I always find it encouraging, even inspiring to know that there are other people out there that can relate to what I am going through, no matter the situation, especially when they are achieving great things.
For instance, if having a disability such as dyslexia hasn’t stopped a person from being a successful celebrity or CEO why should it stop anyone else from accomplishing their goals?

Famous people with dyslexia include:
1. Orlando Bloom-Actor
2. Sylvester Stallone-Actor
3. Brad Pitt-Actor
4. Danny Glover-Actor
5. Anderson Cooper-Journalist
6. Henry Winkler-Actor
7. Charles Schwab-CEO
8. Cher-Singer
9. Tommy Hilfiger-Fashion Designer
10. Steven Spielberg-Film Director
11. Tom Cruise-Actor
12. Keira Knightley-Actress
13. Whoopi Goldberg-Actress
14. Patrick Dempsey-Actor
15. Jay Leno-Comedian

For more information on dyslexia and how it is treated visit: http://www.ncld.org/types-learning-disabilities/dyslexia/what-is-dyslexia

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