Dyslexia Institute of Southern New Mexico

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Facts Everyone Should Know About Dyslexia

National Institute of Health Results on Dyslexia
Originally released in 1994
These research results have been independently replicated and periodically updated.

* Dyslexia afftects at least 1 out of every 5 children in the United States

* Dyslexia represents the most common and prevalent of all known learning disabilities.

* Dyslexia is the most researched of all learning disabilities.

* Dyslexia affects as many girls as boys.

* Some forms of dyslexia are highly heritable.

* Dyslexia is the leading cause of reading failure and school dropouts in our nation.

* Dyslexia has been shown to be clearly related to neurophysiological differences in brain function. Dyslexic children display difficulty with the sound/symbol correspondences of our written code because of these differences in brain function.

* Early intervention is essential for this population.

* Dyslexia is identifiable, with 92% accuracy, at ages 5 1/2 to 6 1/2.

* Dyslexia is primarily due to linguistic deficits. We now know dyslexia is due to a difficulty processing language. It is not due to visual problems, and people with dyslexia do not necessarily see words or letters backwards.

* Reading failure caused by dyslexia is highly preventable through direct, explicit instruction in phonemic awareness.

* Children do not outgrow reading failure or dyslexia

* Of children who display reading problems in the first grade, 74% will be poor readers in the ninth grade and into adulthood unless they receive informed and explicit instruction on phonemic awareness.

*Children do not mature out of their reading difficulties.

* Research evidence does not support the use of "whole language" reading approaches to teach dyslexic children.

* Dyslexia and ADD are two separate and identifiable entities.

* Dyslexia and ADD so frequently exist within the same child that it is always best to test for both.

* There is evidence that significant numbers of dyslexics are represented in populations of runaway homeless street youths, adolescent suicide victims and juvenile offenders.

* The current "discrepancy model" testing utilized by our nation's public schools to establish eligibility for special education services is not a valid diagnostic marker for dyslexia.

Research Results Released After 1994

*Behavioral difficulties in school may be a sign of dyslexia.

*Dyslexia manifests itself in all cultures and languages, even in non-alphabetical languages such as Japanese and Chinese.

*Young immigrant children who continue to have difficulty learning to read and write in English as their second language should be tested for dyslexia.

*Very low birth weight children are at significant risk for dyslexia.

* Word recognition difficulties are the most reliable indicators of reading disability in older adults and children. Slow, labored and inaccurate reading of real and nonsense words in isolation are key warning signs.

* This laborious reading of single words frequently impedes the individual's ability to comprehend what has been read, even though listening comprehension is adequate.

* Even among children and adults who score within normal ranges on reading achievement tests, many report that reading is so laborious and unproductive that they rarely read, either for learning or for pleasure.

* Developing adequate awareness of phonemes is not dependent on intelligence, socioeconomic status, or parents' education, but can be fostered through direct, explicit instruction. Such instruction is shown to accelerate reading acquisition in general, even as it reduces the incidence of reading failure.

* Disabled readers must be provided highly structured programs that explicitly teach application of phonological rules to print. Longitudinal data (studies that follow children over time) indicate that explicit systematic phonics instruction results in more favorable outcomes for disabled readers than does a context-emphasis (whole -language) approach.


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