Before formal schooling, dyslexia really wasn't an issue. Considering our history as a species, dyslexia is a relatively new phenomenon. If we lived in the days before the printing press, this website would not be needed. Before the printing press the majority of people did not need to read, and therefore dyslexia didn’t exist. But that is no longer the case. With today’s society becoming increasingly literate and with the increased reliance on technology, reading and writing have become all the more important to our development as human beings.

On this website we use the term dyslexia to describe the population who is not learning to read and spell despite competencies in other areas. Educational settings may use different terms such as a specific learning disability or a deficit in reading comprehension, written word decoding, or written expression. We are talking about the same thing.

Given that school is where we go to learn to read and write, many times dyslexia is not identified until a child begins formal schooling.  It gets the teacher's attention, as it should, when a child fails to learn at the pace of his or her peers. It is important that as soon as flags we being the process to determine what is causing the problem.

A Reading Deficit Impacts Learning in all Subjects

In today's society, reading underlies nearly all school-based learning. A reading deficit can impact learning in subjects such as math, social studies, and science. A difficulty reading at the level of one's peers is an access issue - the child with the reading disability does not have the same access to the curriculum as the typical readers to. Once a student gets behind it is very difficult to catch up. He misses out learning fundamentals and important information that serve as background knowledge for learning new information.

A reading disability affects a student’s ability to demonstrate what he has learned, particularly when tested using a written exam, which tends to be the practice in our schools. Students with dyslexia often require additional time when reading and writing and are particularly disadvantaged when given a timed test.

Any or all of these challenges can negatively impact one's sense of self as a learner resulting in poor self-esteem and self-concept. These feelings of inadequacy can last a long time. Early identification is important in order to mitigate this preventable outcome.

In addition, multisensory approaches are key to successfully designing curriculum for dyslexic students. Fortunately for teachers, these techniques have proven successful for all students.

Every day we are gaining new understandings about ways in which to teach students with dyslexia. We are fortunate to have so many resources at our disposal. By using the information on this website, conferring with your child's teachers, and supporting your child, you can build your knowledge and confidence as you help your child learn to read and write and, ultimately, succeed. Success starts here!