Four Dyslexia Misconceptions

Posted by on 20th March 2013

56206100_82c8a353f4Dyslexia is a frequently misunderstood (and often hidden) disability. Much has changed in the past few decades but unfortunately there are some misconceptions that still exist. These misconceptions are often perpetuated through a lack of understanding or sympathy, often by people who know little of the difficulties faced by people with dyslexia on a daily basis. In this blog post we will explore some of these misconceptions.

Misconception 1: People with Dyslexia are lazy

One of the most pervasive myths is that people with dyslexia lack motivation or academic ability. This is of course completely incorrect, but can also be very damaging to an individual’s self-confidence if they are constantly labelled in this way. A recent example of this belief was exhibited on ITV’s The Jeremy Kyle Show:
Jeremy Kyle Dyslexia Clip

Misconception 2: Dyslexia only affects spelling

Frustrated girl (Source: SiSter PhotograPher/Kristine Lewis on FlickrIn the above video Glyn, a guest, is berated by Kyle for his difficulties with remembering information, in this case his children’s birthdays. Arguably Kyle has some empathy – he states he has a friend with the disability – however if this is true he should really know that there is a much wider range of dyslexia-related issues than problems with spelling.
People with dyslexia often have difficulties with:

  • Reading
  • Memory
  • Organization
  • Speech
  • Concentration

You can find out more on the NHS Choices website.

Misconception 3: Dyslexics are a small minority

The British Dyslexia Association states that 10% of the UK population is dyslexic. However, not all people with dyslexia are diagnosed and receive help, so this figure could well be higher. Furthermore, many people with dyslexia don’t want anyone else to know, for fear of discrimination in the workplace or when applying for jobs.

Misconception 4: People with Dyslexia can never improve

While dyslexia is not curable, the notion that someone with the disability is doomed to struggle for life is completely false. While people with dyslexia certainly flourish in creative industries, there are a wealth of coping strategies and techniques availalable, not to mention a wide range of assistive technology to suit a range of needs.

Have you or someone you know ever encountered any of these misconceptions? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

If you want to find out more about dyslexia, the British Dyslexia Association has an extensive collection of information available here.