What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that results in reading and writing difficulties. Dyslexia is found in populations around the world but rates can be particularly high in countries where the written language uses irregular spelling or features combinations of letters with different sound possibilities. English is full of these combinations (such as the ou in cough and through) as well as different spellings that all make the same sound (such as the o sound in stole, coal, and bowl). It is estimated that 15% of the U.S. population suffers from dyslexia.

Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone and thought to be dyslexic. Image source: WikiCommons

Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone and thought to be dyslexic. Image source: WikiCommons

Dyslexic people have chronic difficulty with reading, writing, and spelling. Despite being bright and motivated, a child with dyslexia will have great difficulty making connections between spoken and written language. Dyslexics may be intelligent and creative people but suffer from low self-esteem or anxiety brought on by their learning disability.

There have been and are plenty of famous people with dyslexia. Children who are dyslexic should know that they can succeed at all career paths, whether they want to be an inventor like Alexander Graham Bell, an actor like Keira Knightley, an artist like Pablo Picasso, or a writer like Agatha Christie. All those people and many more were diagnosed as or thought to be dyslexic.

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