It is a privilege to introduce today's guest blogger! Dr. Erica Warren is an expert on Dyslexia and explains it for us today in a way that kids can understand. She has over 15 years of experience including teacher training, running college programs for students with learning disabilities, and working in her own private practice. She has a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, a Master's Degree in Educational Psychology, and a Doctorate in Education that combined course-work and research in Special Education, Educational Psychology, School Psychology, and Adult Education.
I am a big fan of her educational materials! Be sure to check out the links at the end to find out more about Dr. Warren and her products.
If 10 kids were lined up in a row, did you know that one or two of them would probably have dyslexia? Dyslexia is the most common type of learning disability. However, many people don’t believe that dyslexia is a true disability. Instead, they think it is a difference and that these individuals are wired in a special way. People with dyslexia see what other people see, but sometimes their brain understands or remembers things incorrectly. When reading, for example, dyslexics use the right side of their brain more than those that do not have dyslexia. The right side of the brain is not very good at working with words, so it often takes an individual with dyslexia longer to memorize, read and write. They may make more mistakes too, because their brain has to travel a longer path to reach the answer.
Dyslexia can be mild, causing a few mistakes here and there, but it can also be severe, impacting all subjects in school. Because each person with dyslexia is different, it is important to evaluate and define his or her strengths and weaknesses so an individual plan can be created.
What’s Difficult for Most People with Dyslexia?
A person with dyslexia can struggle with some or even all of the following:
1) reading or decoding words
2) spelling words
3) memorizing facts
4) remembering the names of people or objects
5) reversing letters or numbers
6) memorizing number, letter, and word sequences
7) pronouncing words (pissgetti – for spaghetti)
8) skipping words
9) sounding out words
10) understanding idioms, inferences, and jokes
11) tracking from left to right across a page
12) dizziness, headaches or stomach aches while reading
13) telling the difference between similar sounding letters and words
14) trouble understanding word problems
What’s Easier for Most Kids with Dyslexia?
Many individuals that have dyslexia also have some extraordinary abilities. They may have talents in one or more of the following:
1) seeing the 'big picture' or main idea in a situation
2) thinking imaginatively and solving problems
3) picturing mental imagery or visualizations
4) creative writing
5) strong 3-dimensional abilities or spatial skills. They are good at geometry and make great engineers, architects and designers
6) hands on learning
7) narrative reasoning or remembering facts as experiences, examples or stories
8) leading discussions and acting
How Can We Help People With Dyslexia?
1) Remember that people with dyslexia can learn, but they might need to learn differently than others.
2) Remember that people with dyslexia have a lot of talents.
3) Be patient and help each person with dyslexia figure out how they learn best.
Can People with Dyslexia be Successful in Life?
Absolutely! If students with dyslexia work hard and they get the right type of help, they can learn to work around their weaknesses and use their talents. Many famous people struggled with dyslexia. Here are just a few of them:
1) Steven Spielberg, Filmmaker
2) Tommy Hilfiger, Clothing designer
3) President, George Washington
4) Thomas Edison, Inventor
5) Albert Einstein, Scientist
6) Alexander Graham Bell, Inventor
7) Jay Leno, Comedian
8) John Lennon, Musician
9) Henry Ford, Car manufacturer
10) Tom Cruise, Actor
If you would like to see a great TedEd video on dyslexia click here:
Here is a video about famous people with dyslexia:
Here is an activity that can help you understand what it is like to have dyslexia as a beginning reader. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/misunderstoodminds/experiences/readexp1a.html
If you are interested in purchasing some products that help students with dyslexia, consider downloading a free sample of Dr. Warren’s Reversing Reversals, Making Inferences the Fun and Easy Way, or Reading Games go to: http://dyslexiamaterials.com/reading-language-arts-1.html
Click here to register for a free webinar tonight by Dr. Warren!
About the Author:
Dr. Erica Warren is a reading specialist, educational therapist and author of multisensory, and mindful educational materials. She resides in New York, where she works one on one with students as a “personal trainer for the brain” and an educational consultant/teacher trainer. Dr. Warren offers her own materials at Good Sensory Learning and TeachersPayTeachers. You can also get free advice and resources by following her blog here.