Debunking dyslexia misconceptions

ORLANDO, Fla. – Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Aniston — What do these celebrities have in common? Yes, they all make millions on the big screen, but all three also have dyslexia.

It’s estimated that one in 10 people have dyslexia. It’s a learning impairment that causes problems with reading, writing and spelling. The intelligence of dyslexic people is unaffected. This misunderstanding of the condition leads to stigma. Last month was Dyslexia Awareness Month, and it aims to bring more understanding and awareness about it.

These kids are friends and classmates, and they all share a common learning challenge. They all have dyslexia.

“It’s actually the way that the neural pathways of the brain are wired for reading,” explained Cherrie Langston, an administrator and the principal of Park School in Orlando, Florida.

Scientists know more than ever about dyslexia.

But there are still a lot of misconceptions about this common learning difference.

“I think some people, have a belief that dyslexia has to do with vision, that they see things upside down or reversed. That is true, but it’s not a vision issue. It’s the way the brain is wired,” Langston said.

So how much do you know about it? Is reading and writing letters backward the main sign of dyslexia? Some children with dyslexia write letters backward and some don’t.

Next question: Does dyslexia go away once children learn to read

“Even after you have intervention, you will always be dyslexic,” Langston said.

And most children with dyslexia are also diagnosed with ADHD. And did you know there are dyslexia advantages?

“They are wonderful storytellers, oral storytellers. They are creative, artistic. Dyslexics make amazing entrepreneurs,” Langston said.

According to experts, it takes three to four years of intervention to see a difference in most people.

Contributors to this news report include Adahlia Thomas, producer, and Roque Correa, editor.