I sometimes wonder if labeling people with dyslexia and putting them in that box is, in fact, a negative. I’m not against the diagnosis, but far too often everyone with dyslexia is treated the same way. Everyone’s brain processes and responds differently and so just because someone has dyslexia should not mean we place them in the same box. It’s like fingerprints–everyone has them, but no two fingerprints are the same. Just like how no two dyslexia brains are the same.
To show you what I mean, I saw one of those stimulations on Facebook the other day that was claiming that it was showing everyone what it was like to read with dyslexia. I think these are useful (to an extent) because it gives people an idea of what it may be like for some people with dyslexia. Often demonstrating how challenging doing tasks like reading and writing can be is really useful for those around us. This can be especially helpful for parents and teachers, so they have a clearer idea how the child’s brain is functioning. However, I also think that it can be misleading because it makes it seem that that’s what everyone with dyslexia sees when they read. For me personally, it doesn’t come close with what I see when I go to read and write. It’s certainly not wrong to provide a compelling example as to what it can be like reading with dyslexia, but it should be made clear that this is one possible way dyslexia can display itself.
In my opinion, the first step in helping and working with dyslexics should be listening followed closely by data collection. This makes it sound like a science expedition to the Arctic, but I think you get the point! We need to customize how we nurture and support each dyslexic and stay away from placing them into a cookie-cutter, one size fits all program.