Dyslexia – Not Just a Learning Difference.

boy1A major focus for Dyslexia Advocacy Week is that students with dyslexia learn differently than students without dyslexia. If these differences can be recognized and catered for, many students with dyslexia can do very well. Such differences can even be an advantage when it comes to solving problems since dyslexics are well known for thinking outside of the square.

Some examples that are commonly quoted of successful dyslexics include Albert Einstein, Richard Branson, Tom Cruise and in New Zealand, John Britton (designer of a world-record-setting motor cycle) and Richard Taylor (creator of special effects for movies).

In order to help students with dyslexia reach their full potential however one should not only take into account their learning differences but also what problems that exist which can be improved with treatment. For example, it has been shown that most dyslexics have a problem with their visual or auditory skills. If we can treat such problems then dyslexic students will be better equipped to manage their learning requirements.

In the case of visual and auditory skills, these can usually be treated successfully with regular daily training. The purpose of training is not to “cure dyslexia” or “re-wire the brain” but rather to strengthen the development of neural pathways that are important for proficient learning. As always, it is important that any interventions are matched to the learning profile of the student.

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