Actors, chefs, lawyers, entrepreneurs, musicians, professional athletes, politicians…dyslexia doesn’t discriminate. Thankfully, dyslexia doesn’t limit success either. Just ask Whoopi Goldberg, Cher, Channing Tatum, and Jamie Oliver about their experiences with dyslexia.
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability which causes difficulty with language skills, including reading and writing. Individuals with dyslexia might qualify for special education services in school and require accommodations to foster academic success. Affecting 10-15% of individuals, more than likely, you have worked with students with dyslexia.
Are you wondering what you can do to better support your students with dyslexia? We love this practical handbook The International Dyslexia Association put together for teachers. Probably the most valuable take-away/reminder includes this statement: Individuals with dyslexia do not have a lower level of intelligence. In fact, more often than not, the complete opposite is true. Considering notable inventors such as Alexandar Graham Bell and Henry Ford were known to have had dyslexia, we couldn’t agree more!
As teachers, it is our responsibility to know the signs and symptoms of dyslexia, and to provide the support and encouragement that students with dyslexia require. We need to set and keep high expectations of our students. Individuals with dyslexia can, indeed, be successful students and later, successful adults. Imagine the support teachers gave award-winning actresses Octavia Spencer, Salma Hayek and Keira Knightley. And the encouragement Carol Moseley and Michael Bennet were given to eventually become elected U.S. senators.
October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. We encourage you to set the bar high for your students. Find out what your students are interested in, what their goals are, then guide them toward making their dreams come true. Check out this writing activity which can be tailored to guide your students with researching and writing about their future career prospects.
As the old adage suggests, “Behind every great student is a great teacher.” Perhaps you’ll be the great teacher behind a future news correspondent like Anderson Cooper or an entrepreneur like Ingvar Kamprad (founder of IKEA) or Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank. There are no limits!