Dyslexia is often viewed negatively by those who don't understand what it is (read our blog What is Dyslexia?) or how it affects individuals who have it. There are a lot of strengths that come with dyslexia, but explaining strengths to someone who doesn't even have a basic understanding of dyslexia can be infuriating.
Today we are uncovering 8 Common Adult Dyslexia Misconceptions and explaining the reality of living with dyslexia.
Misconception: People with Dyslexia are Dumb/ 'Stupid'
Reality: Dyslexia does not impact intelligence
There has been absolutely no research that shows individuals with dyslexia have a lower level of intelligence. Some research even says the opposite. We are not scientists, so we can't weigh in on whether people with dyslexia are more intelligent than average. We can say that one of the strengths of being dyslexic is seeing problems differently than others.
Misconception: Dyslexia is a disability
Reality: Dyslexia is a different way of thinking
Dyslexia was initially labeled as a learning disability because early on in life, dyslexia presents as an inability to read/write. The key word here is presents. Dyslexia is kind of like a cold, we never see dyslexia as a whole, but we see the symptoms (like not knowing left from right or struggling with working memory). The first symptoms of dyslexia are caught when children start school and learn new things.
Misconception: People with dyslexia hate reading or can't read
Reality: People with dyslexia can grow into fantastic readers
Reading can be a struggle for people with dyslexia early in life, but with a sound support system and years of practice, we often overcome our aversion to reading. Dyslexics also learn techniques to help them read faster or find other ways to enjoy books (like audiobooks). People with dyslexia have incredible Narrative Reasoning skills, making reading enjoyable.
Misconception: People with dyslexia can't write or spell
Reality: There are a plethora of dyslexia authors
This one makes me giggle as a dyslexic who writes for a living. Dyslexics make excellent writers because we create detailed pictures in our minds that help readers build clear images. We are also good at breaking big ideas into smaller digestible parts and are often excellent at technical writing. Heck, our friend Ray over at DSLX created a whole content writing agency, and he is a proud dyslexic.
Misconception: You can outgrow dyslexia
Reality: Dyslexia can be managed but never outgrown
Dyslexia does not stop when you graduate. The dyslexic brain is wired differently, and no amount of special classes or life hacks will change that. The only thing that can be done to minimize dyslexia is to learn how to manage the symptoms and create systems that work for you.
Misconception: Dyslexia only affects Kids
Reality: Dyslexia affects individuals of all ages (the challenges change as you grow older)
Just because you are an adult and made it through school fine does not mean you can't be diagnosed with dyslexia. For some individuals, school is not too much of a struggle, but once they hit adulthood, they start to notice some of the tells of dyslexia in adults. Things like time blindness, forgetting directions and knowing right from left.
Misconception: Dyslexics cant have another neuro-diversity (ADHD, Dyspraxia, dyscalculia, autism, etc.)
Reality: Over 40% of people with dyslexia have a co-occurrence with ADHD.
There is a lot of research being done on co-occurrences between neuro-diversities. It is becoming increasingly common for an individual with one neuro-diversity to be diagnosed with a second one. There is no shame in having dyslexia, dyspraxia, and ADHD. Once individuals embrace their differences, they can start to create systems to manage them.
Misconception: It is random who gets dyslexia
Reality: Dyslexia is genetic. If one parent has dyslexia, you have a 50% chance of having a dyslexic child
How cool is this! As more research is being done on dyslexia and more support is being created, dyslexic adults are better prepared to help dyslexic children! The fact that dyslexia is genetic also makes stronger allyship and networks for people with dyslexia of all ages.
If you are curious about what adult dyslexia is, how it impacts people, and why you need to know the strengths check out our FREE Guide What is Dyslexia?