Dr. Pat Sekel, our local expert on dyslexia, explains what dyslexia really is. There has been so much misunderstanding, amateur explanation, and pre-scientific explanation hanging around, that very few people have an accurate grasp of what is going on. Dr. Sekel came to our studios back in 2010. During the 1990s, after the invention of the CT scan and the MRI, we gained a lot of knowledge about how the brain works. Education is dragging its feet, but advances have been made. To the extent that we can understand what dyslexia is, then we can have a better chance at helping students who struggle because of it.
WHAT DYSLEXIA IS/NOT
Dyslexia is NOT merely switching letters. Dyslexia is NOT something that children grow out of. Dyslexia is real. Dyslexia does often cause problems with school work.
Dyslexia is genetic. It has been known since the time of Socrates. Therefore, it is not like other ailments that were only newly discovered. It is not like problems that have become common only within the past decade, so that it is reasonable to look for preventions. Dyslexia has been around a long time.
It is now thought that dyslexia is a slow auditory processing. Dr. Sekel will explain. There are ways to train the brain to speed up that processing – somewhat. There are ways to teach reading and spelling that permit the student who has dyslexia to do better. Generally, this consists of teaching rules in a logical way — something that public school adamantly, ignorantly, and hurtfully refuses to do. (Please get a copy of my English Spelling Patterns, written for dyslexics and available on amazon.com.)
NOW THE GOOD NEWS
Dyslexia is often accompanied by a heightened ability to deal with the 3D world. For instance, can you picture a slice of pie on a plate? Can you picture in your mind that same slice of pie upside down, floating in the air, off the plate? Why not? I find that easy. Anyone with dyslexia would. Why can’t you? Maybe for the same reason that I still had typos in my college paper after I proofed it 12 times. LOL
There is a lot more to be said about dyslexia and helping students with dyslexia. The point we make here is 1) this is not a death knell 2) we do know what this problem is and 3) there are people and methods that can help. I let out of the bag that I clearly have dyslexia. I am also PHI BETA KAPPA (meaning a member of the the most prestigious honor society) and did extremely well in school. Your children can too. Just have faith and get the practical ideas/help you need.