Dyslexia & Awareness for All

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month and every year when it rolls around we at KoolMinds take the opportunity to educate and empower our communities and bring awareness to this specific learning disability.
Sep 25 / KoolMinds Team
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Here's the issue in learning about specific learning disabilities (SLDs), defining them and trying to raise awareness.... only the people who experience it can fully understand and describe it. So instead of defining Dyslexia right away, let's start with a different definition:

EMPATHY: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Empathy involves compassion, lack of judgement, sharing perspective and recognizing emotion. So before we get into the technicality of Dyslexia and all that it involves, let's attempt to put ourselves in the shoes of someone who struggles with it. When one empathizes with a cause, they are more likely to feel compassion and in turn willing to raise awareness and make change.
Read the poem below for a glimpse... 
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"Sometimes I seem uninterested or maybe even lazy.
I have trouble with spelling and my memory is hazy. My letters and numbers reverse but they don't mean to. My Mom understands because hers do it too. Comprehension is tricky, times tables are worse, and don't get me started on learning another language - the absolute worst! 
 I dread going to school because I can't read aloud without slowing, and writing things down is even more slow going.  I'm inclined to be messy and I limit my words, rhyming is awkward and I don't feel heard. I'm creative, smart and talented but I just can't make the grades. I'm doing the very best I can, but I don't know
how to change."

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If we were in Poetry or English class, the teacher might ask what kind of emotion the writer is trying to convey. Frustration, confusion, being misunderstood, or maybe all of the above would apply here. If you're reading this blog, you're here for a reason. Whether it's you, your student, a friend or coworker - someone in your circle is most likely struggling with this especially considering 1 in 5 people have learning and thinking differences like Dyslexia. Wow!

So what do we do with all this empathy we're now feeling?  

Raising Awareness

There are all kinds of ways to raise awareness for Dyslexia. Here are a few ways you can be a part of our cause!
  • Participate in the IDA Dyslexia Dash 5K virtually, unless you're in Georgia and can run it for real! 
  • Talk to your student's Special Education teacher about indicators of Dyslexia and ask about accommodations
    that can be made 
  • Share this blog post to your social media channels. 
  • Give to organizations like Children First Education Fund, who provide scholarships to students
    needing intervention for SLDs.  (Bonus points if you designate your donation to KoolMinds so our students
    receive those funds.)

Donate to the Cause

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Defining Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a learning disability that makes reading and language-related tasks difficult. Individuals with dyslexia struggle with word recognition, decoding and spelling (among other things).  

Dyslexia is the most common neural-cognitive disorder. In the United States, NIH research has shown that dyslexia affects 5-10% of the population, with estimates as high as 17%. Dyslexia is mainly a problem with reading accurately and fluently. 

Common Signs & Symptoms

What's the Good News?

The good news is Dyslexic people are kind of awesome. They are some of the most creative, brilliant, and talented minds among us. They are resilient, hard working and dedicated to executing tasks at the same level (if not higher) as the rest of us. Being wired differently allows them to discover things and create masterpieces that no one else could even dream up. 

It's common to list off celebrities but I guarantee there are people you know who have Dyslexia and are thriving. Ask your family members! Maybe you'll learn something new about a loved one in your life. 
Whoopi Goldberg, Albert Einstein, Caitlyn Jenner, Robin Williams, Magic Johnson, John Lennon, Jennifer Aniston, Muhammad Ali

From left: Whoopi Goldberg, Albert Einstein, Caitlyn Jenner, Robin Williams, Magic Johnson, John Lennon, Jennifer Aniston, Muhammad Ali

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Even more good news is that there is help for those who need it. Suffering is silence is no longer necessary. There are remedial programs, classroom accommodations, support groups, and so much more available for the Dyslexic community. 

To find out how to we can help, schedule a consultation with one of our local offices!