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Neil MacKay
Dyslexia Friendly Strategies & Support

Demystifying Dyslexia

The lead quote is from the American philosopher Henry Thoreau. He first introduced the idea of "marching to a different drummer" This article is about those children who hear a different beat and so need a different rhythm to their learning.

Demystifying DyslexiaFor the purpose of this article dyslexia will be presented as a specific learning difference rather than as a difficulty. We all experience difficulty in learning some skills and this is part of our individuality. It is teachers and parents who can decide if Dyslexia is to be a difference or difficulty by behaviour at home and in the classroom.

It has been suggested recently that that Dyslexia does not exist, a view which has managed to gain considerable publicity in recent months. The argument is flawed because it is based on a very narrow definition of Dyslexia, basically linking it to the acquisition of reading skills. As soon as the debate is widened to include the acquisition of skills necessary to develop spelling and getting ideas down on paper the specific issues that affect dyslexic learners are easy to identify.

Dyslexia is constitutional - that is to say, it is part of the child. The brain is organised differently which means that some skills are learnt very easily, while others take a long time to develop. One issue for dyslexic learners can be the slow acquisition of some basic literacy skills - unfortunately this can be interpreted as being due to a lack of intelligence................

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