#1 Thing You Need to Understand About Dyslexia

dyslexia resources Oct 14, 2021

Hi friends. As many of you know, October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. So, this week I'm chatting about one of the most important things you should know about dyslexia.

Dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence. It is not a thinking disability. The apparent brightness often stumps parents and educators and leads to thinking that a dyslexic student needs to try harder or needs more time. 

In a school setting, the understanding that dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence can be overshadowed by the demands of reading, writing, and the quick pace of instruction. Our children are bright, yet they are sometimes overlooked as their day consists of activities that do not highlight their strengths. Instead, their struggles are on constant display. This constant feeling of playing catchup or struggling can profoundly impact a child's self-esteem, one that can last a lifetime. 

We need to understand, and help students understand, that they are intelligent and thrive when taught in a way that works best for their brain's processing system.

What are some things that we can reflect upon?

As educators and parents, what opportunities can we provide for our children to showcase and develop their strengths in the academic setting and at home? 

Dr. Sally Shaywitz said, "Dyslexia is an island in a sea of strengths." The dyslexic brain develops and functions differently, causing both challenges and strengths in different areas. Many times, our primary focus is on addressing the deficits associated with dyslexia. And while we need to understand dyslexia needs and how to address them appropriately, we can't ignore the other side of the coin, which is the individual strengths that lie in every student. A teacher or parent that identifies and promotes those strengths offers a different point of view for a child who may otherwise be surrounded with feelings of failure. 

How can we shift traditional assignments to provide our children an opportunity to show what they know in a way that works best for them?

Offering students choices for how they complete an assignment is one way we can do this. Some assignments may lend themselves to be done with different platforms in different ways while still meeting the expected criteria. Students could create slides with images and information, design a pamphlet, record themselves explaining their thinking, etc. While this may not be an option for all assignments, providing students with some choices in how they show their knowledge can empower them and provide struggling students with an opportunity to share their expertise in a way that benefits them. 

Our children are bright. I am reminded every day when working with my students of just how smart they are. They are creative, inquisitive, and thrive when learning connects in a way that unlocks the reading and writing process. I feel honored to be a part of their journey. 🦋

So many of you have asked about making my images into posters! I am gifting you my "Dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence" poster. Enjoy! Click HERE or on the image for access to the free download. You'll also have access to the free resource library! If you are already a member of the community, check out the library for the poster. Be sure to check out all the upcoming events below!


Oct 16 - Demystifying Dyslexia Webinar *LIVE* with Casey Harrison and Katy Vassar. Click HERE for all the details. Registration closes this Friday! A recording of the session will also be available to all registrants for a month.


The Together in Literacy podcast has launched!

This collective project with hosts Casey Harrison and Emily Gibbons is all about dyslexia, literacy, and the social-emotional connection. Click HERE to listen!

Join the waitlist for the upcoming course with Casey - The Color-Coding Method to approaching instant words. This mini course will detail my color-coding method of teaching sight words to help your students move from phonemic awareness to spelling and reading. Click HERE to join the waitlist!

Thank you for all your support! Have a great week!



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