I know this title may offend some people but this is Dyslexia Awareness Week and this little fact ought to be widely known. I do hope I get some well thought through responses that I can reply to.
There are many definitions of Dyslexia with variations on the theme of “trouble with fluent spelling and reading”, which I can go along with. However some are finished up with the words such as “despite appropriate teaching”. I must challenge this one, because these students are quite capable of reading and spelling visually, it is just the way we are teaching them and phonics that is confusing them. They are big picture thinkers, who find it much easier to learn when they can picture the bigger picture, like the whole word, rather than having to deal with what they think of as meaningless bits of words. Simply, these people are not getting appropriate teaching for their method of learning.
More recently assessments have now focused on the students capabilities with phonics as leading to a definition of Dyslexia. Why is that even correct. I for one can read perfectly well and have never learnt phonics.
Now, there is no denying that these students think and learn differently, with exceptional strengths, nothing to do with literacy – latterly called neurodovergent skills and recognised by #madebydyslexia, #geniuswithin amoungst others. Indeed, cares whether they can spell or read, when such exceptional brains go on to solve major problems like global warming. But for those in school literacy is a major source of anxiety, stress, bullying and even worse.
One of the problems is the word Dyslexia, because that is derived from the Greek word dys- “bad, abnormal, difficult” + lexis “word.” If they were called EPIC, it would be easier to contemplate EPIC students without the literacy challenges. As we know that the appropriate way for these students is to learn using their visual strengths, #empoweringlearning, with word recognition for reading and visualising words for spelling, maybe the word Dyslexia is what should be challenged.