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Reading (Part 2)

Problems with reading comprehension, while still common in dyslexia, are not quite as common as problems with decoding, word recognition, or fluency. The most characteristically “dyslexic” source of difficulty with reading comprehension would come from having so much trouble identifying the words in a passage that the meaning of the passage becomes jumbled. But comprehension […]

Reading (Part 1)

Dyslexia is usually defined as a disorder of reading; but not all problems with reading are due to dyslexia, and most people with dyslexia don’t struggle with all aspects of reading. The most common and characteristic dyslexia-associated reading problem is learning to decode words quickly and accurately. Difficulty recognizing words that have often been encountered […]

Basic Skills (Part 2)

When thinking about the problems with basic academic skills that people with dyslexia often have, it’s important to recognize that these problems usually don’t stop at the arbitrary boundaries of “reading and spelling” that the diagnosis of dyslexia implies. Many dyslexic people find various “basic skills” aspects of writing difficult, including handwriting, punctuation, capitalization, and […]

Basic Skills (Part 1)

It’s important to recognize that for people with dyslexia, academic challenges arise mostly from problems mastering low-level basic skills. These basic skills are supported in part by centers of the brain that specialize in creating automatic, habitual, or reflex like responses to inputs, and these kinds of automatic responses are typically less easily mastered by […]

Automatic (Part 2)

Individuals with dyslexia often show difficulties mastering automatic skills. For some, these problems affect only language-based learning, which includes most of the familiar basic academic skills, like decoding, spelling, math facts memorization, and written mechanics like punctuation and capitalization. For others, motor-skills can be involved, and these students can struggle with primarily fine motor skills […]

Fluent (Part 2)

To accurately assess passage-level reading fluency, students must be tested on passages of several degrees of difficulty; otherwise we’ll miss important reading challenges. Many verbally talented students with dyslexia won’t show problems reading passages on familiar topics with familiar words; but they’ll struggle to read texts with advanced or unfamiliar material–including foreign languages. That’s why […]

Fluent (Part 1)

In the context of reading, the term fluency means the ability to read accurately and quickly. Reading at a certain speed is necessary to grasp the meaning of a text. It’s like riding a bicycle: you have to reach a certain speed to make it work. Don’t ignore fluency. Decoding and fluency are both are […]

Challenges (Part 1)

There is simply no denying that people with dyslexia face many kinds of challenges. But the degree to which those challenges create practical problems is often determined by how well the people around them understand and appropriately nourish dyslexic minds. For example, delays in mastering reading can only impact a student’s education across the board […]

Benefits of Dyslexia (Part 2)

In the century and a half since dyslexia was first described many of the greatest experts working on dyslexia have noticed this connection between dyslexic challenges in reading and spelling, and abilities in other areas. That was the topic of our book, The Dyslexic Advantage, and it’s also the topic of a growing number of […]

Benefits of Dyslexia (Part 1)

Have you ever wondered why are there so many dyslexic people? Dr. Norman Geschwind did. Dr. Geschwind was a professor at Harvard Medical School and one of America’s top neurologists when he gave a talk in 1982 where he asked that very question. The answer he gave was contained in this sentence:  “One of the […]