Teaching Tip: Strengths of Dyslexics

Approximately 15 percent of Americans are affected by dyslexia. Dyslexics have great difficulty mastering reading. Recent research, however, has shown that dyslexics often have skills that are superior to those of typical readers. Dyslexics have been shown to have sharper peripheral vision. They often have a heightened ability to grasp the gist of visual fields of stimuli. It is not clear at this point how these skills directly translate into reading instruction. However, these findings are consistent with the disproportionate representation of dyslexics in fields such as art and design. There is no getting away from the fact that dyslexic students' difficulty with reading poses a significant handicap which requires intensive remediation. At the same time, teachers of these students should build on the strengths identified for dyslexics, and take these strengths and any others that are identified into account when guiding dyslexic students toward college majors and careers.
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