Dyslexia: The Basics

Whether you or a loved one have recently been diagnosed with dyslexia or you just want others to better understand the dyslexic struggle, we’ve put together a simple, 6-point review of dyslexia to bring everyone up to speed.



What is Dyslexia?

There are a lot of misconceptions about what dyslexia really is. Some people mistakenly believe that dyslexia means a person just flips letters around or sees them in the wrong order. While this is often a symptom of dyslexia, there is much more to it than that. Dyslexia is a language based learning disorder characterized by difficulties with reading, spelling, word recognition, and/or the decoding of words. A lot of times these weaknesses in left brain thinking are made up for by overdevelopment of right brain activities. This means people with dyslexia often have strong visual, creative, and problem solving skills. That’s why dyslexia is so common among entrepreneurs, inventors, architects, engineers, and those in the arts and entertainment fields.




What causes dyslexia?

Dyslexia is caused by a difference in the physical “hard wiring” of the brain. Though an exact cause has yet to be discovered, brain scans have shown certain structural differences that cause dyslexia. In those brain scans, the areas of the brain where written words are linked with their phonetic components show less activity in people with dyslexia than those without. Also, research has found that genetics play a big part in the formation of dyslexia as it has been shown to run in families.



How many people have dyslexia?

Estimates vary, but some reports say up to 20% of people, or 1 in every 5, could be affected by dyslexia. That would mean 64 million Americans have dyslexia, which is roughly equal to the entire population of the United Kingdom! In other words, dyslexia is very common, and a person with dyslexia is in great company.




What options are out there for people with dyslexia?

While there is no cure for dyslexia (and honestly we wouldn’t want to be “cured” anyway) there are certainly ways to lessen its downsides and even benefit from some of the more positive aspects that come with it. One way to manage dyslexia's downsides is through the use of assistive technology such as text-to-speech software, audiobooks, and electronic reading pens. Click here to learn how the Read ‘n Style pen will help people manage dyslexia.




Where can I go for more information?

I would start by checking out our helpful resources page. There you will find websites by several of the most prominent names in dyslexia, just oozing with useful information. YouTube is another great resource that many people often forget about. By searching “Dyslexia Information” you will find a wealth of knowledge in an easy to digest format.




What else should I know about dyslexia?

A big thing we like to emphasize at Hidden Abilities is that while there are certainly some downsides to dyslexia, it’s not all bad. Often times the struggles one must endure today become great sources of knowledge, experience, and strength later in life.