According to the Canadian Dyslexia Association, about 23 percent of people living in Canada are affected by dyslexia. Although this learning disability can be easily managed, it may impact the life and learning of those with it. Whether you or a family member has the disability, it is important to understand dyslexia.
What is Dyslexia?
“Dyslexia” is a broad term used to describe any disorder that impairs one’s ability to read or interpret letters, sounds, words, or other symbols. Characteristics of dyslexia can vary from person to person, but generally, a dyslexic person may experience difficulties in several of the following areas:
- Formation of letters
- Putting the alphabet into proper order/naming letters
- Associating sounds with their proper symbols
- Expressing ideas in writing; writing may appear chaotic
- Expressing ideas in speaking; may struggle to find the proper word
- Reading, spelling, or writing by hand
- Memorization of times tables
- Difficulty in memorizing no-phonic words
There are three fundamental types of dyslexia:
- Dysnemkinesia (motor): May affect one’s handwriting.
- Dysphonesia (auditory): May affect one’s ability to process audible words.
- Dyseidesia (visual): May affect one’s ability to process writing words or sentences.
The Dyslexia Determination Test (DDT) is used to determine the existence of one or more types of dyslexia in a person. The test comes in three parts. Part one involves examination of word, number, and letter reversals. Part two involves decoding words. Part three involves assessing whether encoding is eidetic or phonetic.
Facts about Dyslexia
Despite its high prevalence here in Canada, dyslexia is still quite misunderstood and fogged by myths. Here are some facts that can help those with the disability, as well as their families:
- Dyslexia is a learning disability. It does not interfere with one’s IQ, but can interfere with the method in which they learn. Unconventional and specialized learning techniques may be necessary when teaching a child or adult with dyslexia.
- Dyslexia can (and should) be diagnosed when the child is in kindergarten.
- Dyslexia is believed to be hereditary.
- Agatha Christi, Edger Allen Poe, Earnest Hemingway, and Jules Vern were all believed to be dyslexic. Dyslexia does not prevent someone from becoming a successful writer!
Assistance and Treatment for dyslexia
Although there is no cure for dyslexia, there are a number of programs designed to provide emotional, educational, and financial assistance to those with the disability:
- Canadian Dyslexia Association: The CDA is a non-profit organization in Canada working to provide those with dyslexia and their families, emotional and educational support. Feel free to visit their website for more information on the disability and treatment.
- Dyslexia Resources Canada: The DRC non-profit online organization, looking to spread awareness and emotional support for those with dyslexia.
- Canadian Disability Tax Credit: Dyslexic persons and their caregivers (parents, if the disabled person is still a child) may qualify for the disability tax credit. Money spent on special tutors, counseling, ect., can be partially reimbursed through tax credit for disability. If you or someone in your care suffers from dyslexia, it is recommended that you fill out the disability tax credit application to see if you are eligible for a disability tax credit. If you are the parent of a dyslexic child, you may be eligible for a child disability tax credit. If you reside in Ontario, then you may also be eligible for the Ontario disability tax credit in addition to support given by the Canadian federal government.
Remember, if you or a loved one is suffering from dyslexia, you are not alone. It is highly recommended that you research the disability further to gain full insight into your rights and available aid.
For more information: Canadian Dyslexia Association