The thing about dyslexia is almost everyone gets it wrong.
As proof, try this experiment. Ask anyone you know the question, “What is dyslexia?” I would wager that 90% (perhaps 100%) will say…
“Isn’t that when you read upside down and backwards?”
Somehow, as a large societal public consciousness we have been hypnotized to believe this about dyslexia.
I have probably assessed a couple thousand dyslexic style children (and adults ) over the years, yet I still can’t recall many who were reading legitimately upside down and backwards.
To illustrate the point, try and read the following made-up words.
“perspicuous” “moldroofy” “umberton”
For those of you who do not have dyslexia, you probably read them as quickly as you answer simple math fact questions (e.g., 9 – 4 =?). The words pop effortlessly into your head. You don’t think too much.
For dyslexics, they strain with large, unfamiliar words – it’s one big confusion, making the whole reading (and writing process) a laborious strained affair. Names are a great example of such words.
By third to fourth grade everything shifts. You can no longer rely on your "sight memory" of words. The text now contains lots of large words that are not seen all that frequently. It's these words that slow down the whole process. Reading becomes extremely laborious and strained. It’s at this point in the curriculum that the “dyslexics” are really challenged by the text.
“Dyslexia.” It’s not what you think it is.