Did you know that Thomas Edison, probably the greatest inventor of all time, was dyslexic? He was also a genius, as was Albert Einstein, also dyslexic. So was Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone. And renowned scientists Pierre Curie and Daniel Faraday. Painter Pablo Picasso, businessman Charles Schwab, director Steven Spielberg and guitarist Bob Weir all reached the pinnacle of their professions despite, or perhaps because of, dyslexia.
And yet, many students with dyslexia get left behind in school because teachers don’t know how to teach them. Trident Academy in Mount Pleasant wants to remind every parent during Dyslexia Awareness Month that children with dyslexia can learn to read and thrive in school, if they are taught in ways that emphasize their strengths.
Here are five important concepts to understand about dyslexia.
1. People with Dyslexia Are Intelligent and Hard-working
Some teachers who don’t understand think their students with dyslexia are lazy, which is not the case. Dyslexia is a neurobiological brain disorder that affects people’s ability to manipulate language, but it does not affect IQ. Because children with dyslexia learn differently than other children, they just need the right kind of instruction to avoid getting lost in the system. Students with dyslexia often work much harder than their peers at home because they are not grasping the concepts in the classroom.
2. People with Dyslexia Are Often Highly Creative
There is a reason so many artists, inventors and business leaders are dyslexic: their brains are wired to address problems differently than everyone else. “Often people with dyslexia use workarounds to determine ways to manage in the world without reading,” says Betsy Fanning, Head of School at Trident Academy.
3. Our Educational System Isn’t Dealing Well with Dyslexia
Although it’s estimated that one in 10 children is dyslexic, our educational system has not demonstrated the ability to help them succeed in large numbers. People with dyslexia fail to read, drop out of school, and experience alcoholism, drug addiction, incarceration and suicide, in disproportionally large numbers.
4. Dyslexic Children Can Be Taught to Read and Succeed
Trident Academy is one of only 15 schools nationally accredited in the use of the evidence-based Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching children with learning differences. Employing a multi-sensory approach to language, Trident Academy has helped students, on average, more than double their vocabulary and reading comprehension abilities. With tiny classes averaging eight students, teachers at Trident Academy are able to “work with each student individually and employ their strengths to undergird their weaknesses,” Fanning says.
5. Get Your Child Tested, Then Take Action
If you suspect your child has a learning disability, Fanning recommends getting your child tested. The formal diagnosis usually comes with academic recommendations. Using that information, your child’s school can prepare an Individualized Educational Plan. She recommends parents follow up with the school regularly to ensure your child’s progress.
Trident Academy understands that students who learn differently need to be taught differently. Their teachers employ a structured, diagnostic and prescriptive approach to identifying and working with each student’s individual needs. Students are taught traditional subjects via the incorporation of assistive technology and using various multi-sensory techniques, and experiences outside of the classroom. It’s not too late to enroll your child for this semester. To arrange a tour, call (843) 884-3494, or visit TridentAcademy.com.