Dyslexia is a word that gets thrown around a lot, to the point that very few people really know what it means, or how to spot the signs in children. I remember, when I was learning how to write, my teachers told my mother that they feared I was dyslexic because I wrote my 5s in a funny way. My mother scoffed at them. “She’s not dyslexic, she’s just left handed. She’ll figure it out”. She was right, I turned out not to be dyslexic and I can write the number 5 perfectly well now, which should have been obvious to my teachers given the fact that I was also one of the best readers in the class.
It wasn’t until college that I met someone who really described what dyslexia was like to me. She explained that it was much easier for her to read words on a screen, rather than printed, and that the words moved around on the page. That sounded very annoying to me, and I understood why they gave her extra time in exams at the university. Not everyone did, though, and I heard some people complain that she got what they saw as an unfair advantage for such a “little thing like dyslexia”.
I then came across this website, which actually simulates what its like to try to read a text with dyslexia.
You should follow that link. It’s incredible. My friend’s mild explanations did not do it justice.
The problem with throwing around words like “dyslexic” is that it makes people think that it’s really not that big a deal. If you know anyone who bitches about people getting “special treatment” in class or exams due to a learning disability like dyslexia, send them that link. I am full of admiration for my friend who managed to get top grades in Uni despite her disability.