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Understanding Dyslexia: Successful People with Dyslexia

Dyslexia

This month has been our dyslexia awareness month with the theme as “Understanding dyslexia“. During the course of this period, we have shared information on dyslexia which includes: myths and truths about dyslexia, prevalence of dyslexia, causes of dyslexia, differences in brain functions of people with dyslexia and those who do not have it, assessment/diagnosis of dyslexia, strengths and positive skills of people with dyslexia, strategies to help them learn, accommodations and school supports and so much more. It has been an interesting period of unraveling the myth behind dyslexia and creating awareness about it.

In this final part of the series, we will be sharing information about famous and successful individuals who have experienced similar difficulties with language and were found to be dyslexic. Yes! These set of people were able to maximize the diverse strengths they possess and utilize their skills to excel in life, despite the negative reports they received from teachers and the society at large. As creative thinkers, they have been able take on extraordinary and legendary roles, making their impact felt across generations.  Although, some are dead, the impact made by them is still felt till date while some are alive and excelling in their fields. Among these successful people are inventors, actors/actresses, CEOs, entrepreneurs, film producers/directors, writers, architects and more.

Truly, having a diagnosis of dyslexia is not a sentence to failure rather, an awareness of a different learning ability.

Below are some  famous and successful people with dyslexia:

Steve Jobs:Apple Announces Launch Of New Tablet Computer is a name that comes to mind when the computer and telecommunications company ‘Apple’ is mentioned with many inventions such as laptops and portable devices like iphones, ipods and ipads. Steve jobs is best known as a co-founder and CEO of Apple. He experienced difficulties in school and was diagnosed with dyslexia.

 

Albert EinsteinT1519086_24: was a German Physicist, an author and award winning scientist. He was famous for his timeless discoveries and theories. Having dyslexia, he was able to use his imagination and creativity to stand out in his discoveries. He was also known to be a genius with an IQ of 160.

TOM CRUISE

 

 

Tom Cruise: was diagnosed with dyslexia and had to work harder on what he was really good at from a young age. In Hollywood film industry,  he is a peak performing actor and producer well known for his leading roles in popular movies and production. He is one actor that has excelled in his field.

 

Thomas Edison:Thomas Edison was a scientist and inventor with creative innovations that caused a revolution in how things are done presently across the world. Among his innovations was the invention of the light bulb. He was said to have been dyslexic.

 

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Will Smith: The fresh prince of bel-Air as he is popular called is indeed a king of comedy dedicated to excellence. He is an award winning actor famous for his many comedy roles in movies. He refers to his dyslexia as one of the major reasons for his success.

 

 

Richard BransonRichard branson: After series of struggles with school work, he was diagnosed with dyslexia, with this, he was able to use his strengths to excel. he is a well known successful entrepreneur. He  is the founder of the Virgin group owner of Virgin Atlantic airlines.

 

 

Sally Gardner: a famous author who was diagnosed with dyslexia. She has sold more than Sally Gardner1.5 million copies of her work in the United Kingdom. Her work has been translated into 22 languages.

 

Orlando

Orlando Bloom: a famous actor and movie star claimed he had to do work three times as hard to get two-thirds of the way.  As a child he was diagnosed  with dyslexia but he was also told that he had a high IQ score. This gave him the confidence he needed to succeed.

 

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Michael Faraday: an English scientist who contributed greatly to the field of electromagnetic induction was reported to have had terrible trouble with spelling and punctuation. He also had poor memory. One thing that Faraday had common to dyslexics was a powerful visual sense. He was able to form a mental image of most of his studies.

 

GeorgeGeorge Washington: The  first  United States President  had trouble with words particularly spelling. Historians report that George Washington didn’t spend much time in school and was a self-taught man.  George often spelled words the way they sounded: blew for blue, oyl for oil and coff for cough.  Although there is no evidence, some believe he had dyslexia.

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Henry Ford: The famous entrepreneur and businessman was recorded to have had dyslexia. He even attributed some of his success to dyslexia. Even today, decades after he was born, you might still see cars on the road bearing his name.

 

Whoopi goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg: An actress and humanitarian, Whoopi was diagnosed with dyslexia. She claims that the support of her mother and a great  and understanding teacher helped her surmount her learning challenges. She is one of  twelve people in history to have won all four of entertainment’s major awards: Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy.

 

 

These are only a few of the many famous and successful individuals that were diagnosed with dyslexia and have been able to focus and maximize their strengths to excel in life. They did not let anything hold them back not even a learning difficulty!

 Children with dyslexia have enormous capacity and abilities to succeed.

 They learn differently. They have gifts.They are special!

They can become anything they set their minds upon with your love, encouragement and support.

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Remember to follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more updates. You can contact us for a consultation on dyslexia by clicking HERE

We would love to hear from you at Mobile Health Consult!

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Understanding Dyslexia: Learning Strategies

In the previous article, we were informed about the diverse strengths and positive skills possessed by people with dyslexia. In this article, we will learn how teachers and parents can maximize those strengths by incorporating appropriate strategies that suits the brain function and learning difference of people with dyslexia.

Brain based strategies for teachers and parents of children with dyslexia

learning brainTeachers and parents can maximize the strengths of children with dyslexia and help them learn by incorporating these strategies in their teaching methods.

  1. Teaching strategies: When teaching, the student with dyslexia must be shown the big picture and then how the details fit into it. Topics must be broken down for them to aid understanding. Simple items or topics must be presented before the more difficult ones, from the concrete to the abstract and from the visual to the auditory. Learning must involve constant review and practice at every step of the learning process to ensure mastery.
  2. Multisensory teaching methods:Multisensory Multisensory learning involves the use of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile pathways simultaneously to enhance memory and learning of written language. Links are consistently made between the visual (language we see), auditory (language we hear), and kinesthetic-tactile (language symbols we feel) pathways in learning to read and spell.
  3. Environmental support:The learning environment or classroom should be quiet and free from distractions. Having a carpet or rug in the classroom area will help keep down noise. Minimize distractions to allow students with dyslexia have an area where they can read or concentrate on class work. For students with dyslexia who are showing signs of anxiety, there can be a time-out area when they are feeling very nervous, upset or frustrated.
  4. Assessments and Grading: Students should be allowed to use electronic helpers when completing class work or tests. Examples include an electronic dictionary, speller or thesaurus, computers and talking calculators. Do not take off points for spelling. If you mark spelling errors, do so separately and create a list of words frequently misspelled for students to refer to during writing assignments. You may also offer oral testing and longer time for formal assessments.

 

School support/accommodations for children with dyslexia

MPP0040859The teaching methods utilized in most schools are those that teach learning skills easily processed by the left hemisphere of the brain, these methods make it easy for students/pupils to process abstract symbols of written language. However, these teaching methods are not appropriate for children with dyslexia as it was discussed in the second article of these series that people with dyslexia utilize more of the right side of their brain to process language hence they require a different learning method. With materials presented, students with dyslexia can be given appropriate accommodations. Some of these include:

  •  Clarifying or simplifying directions or instructions
  • Presenting bits of work at a time to prevent information or memory overload
  • Presenting text in larger fonts
  • Highlighting essential information
  • Recording lessons so they can be replayed
  • Making use of step-by-step instructions when teaching
  • Combine visual information with verbal and written ones- let them “see” what is being taught, this will help them remember more. Let there be visual representation of all information given.
  • Make use of colours for written work. This adds some excitement to writing.
  • Encourage their skills/talents like drawing, painting and singing.
  • Allow them present their answers orally when testing if they find it very difficult writing down the answers.
  • Help build their self-esteem
  • Reduce fear and anxiety by never forcing them to spell difficult words or read aloud in class.

 

Successful people diagnosed with dyslexia who have utilized their strengths and have become famous  with their skills will be the subject of discussion in the next and final article of these series.

Always remember that individuals with dyslexia have strengths and can excel in life.

Follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more updates. You can contact us for a consultation on dyslexia by clicking HERE

We would love to hear from you at Mobile Health Consult!

 

 


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Understanding Dyslexia: Learning and Brain differences

 

black-boy-readingJohn hates being called to read aloud in his class, he usually has some trouble saying some words even when he recognizes them. School is not really his favourite place to be because all his teachers complain about his writing and spelling. His parents often compare him with his  siblings saying “he is just the lazy one”.  He often gets discouraged thinking he is not as smart as his siblings and other pupils in his class. John would rather work on his drawings and participate in other activities that deal less with writing or reading.

What John, his parents and teachers have not realized is that he has dyslexia.

 

In the previous article of this month’s series on understanding dyslexia, we shared some information about what dyslexia is and some prevailing myths and truths about dyslexia. In this second part, we will emphasize on the description of dyslexia, causes, prevalence, signs and symptoms which accounts for learning and brain differences in people with dyslexia.

DESCRIBING DYSLEXIA

Dyslexia can be described as a brain based learning difficulty which is often hereditary and results in problems with:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Spelling

Also, it is associated with difficulties in concentration, short term memory and organization which are essential skills to facilitate learning that has to do with language. This is why people with dyslexia can be wrongly labelled as being “lazy”, “stupid”, “dumb”, “less intelligent” or “mentally slow/retarded” . Eliminating these wrong notions about dyslexia creates a better understanding of what is really responsible for the perceived learning differences/difficulties experienced by people with dyslexia.

CAUSES OF DYSLEXIA

The major cause of the brain based learning difficulty especially with literacy skills experienced by people who never had any damage to the brain and having adequate intelligence is genetic. As noted earlier, it is a condition that is hereditary; research has shown that it runs in families therefore, a child has a 50% chance of having dyslexia if only one parent has it and a 100% chance if both parents have dyslexia.

People with dyslexia use only the right side of the brain to process language, while people without dyslexia use three areas on the left side of the brain to process language.maxresdefault

Dyslexia is not as a result of laziness, stupidity or poor intelligence, rather, the brains of people with dyslexia are wired differently which accounts for the language difficulties they experience.

 

PREVALENCE OF DYSLEXIA

  • Dyslexia is the most common learning difficulty.
  • It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia.
  • Dyslexia occurs around the world irrespective of tribe, race or socio-economic background.
  • It occurs in both boys and girls.
  • It can be seen in adults too.
  • It varies from person to person.

 

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DYSLEXIA

The following are some signs and symptoms experienced by people that may have dyslexia.128563473

  1. Difficulties with reading, spelling and writing despite normal intelligence and proper teaching: consistent reading, spelling and writing errors such as putting letters or words in the wrong order for example; ‘was’ for ‘saw’ or sounding ‘dub’ for ‘bud’ or omitting letters when spelling, such as ‘shool’ for ‘school’ could be a sign of dyslexia.
  1. Delay in reaching developmental milestones: this occurs when children are unable to reach certain language and motor development at the expected age. It could be an early sign of dyslexia.
  1. Speech problems: such as sudden loss of speech and difficulty expressing self through spoken language are possible signs of dyslexia.
  1. Directionality difficulties: confusion with directions such as being uncertain about left or right, up/top or down/bottom directions. It is also responsible for letter reversals such as ‘b’ for ‘d’ (not corrected after a long time of correcting and proper teaching). It is also known as mirror writing and could be a sign of dyslexia.
  2. Pronunciation problems: such as being unable to pronounce long words properly.
  3. Difficulty carrying out a sequence of directions: being unable to follow a sequence of directions is a possible sign of dyslexia.

 

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Dyslexia should be seen as a different learning ability rather than a learning disability. People with dyslexia within any age range are capable of learning efficiently with a different approach that matches their learning ability.

Beyond all the difficulties experienced by people with dyslexia, are strengths unknown to many and themselves. Some of their strengths and more information about people with dyslexia will be shared in the next part of these series.

Remember to follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more interesting updates on understanding dyslexia throughout this month of November!