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Does Dyslexia Discriminate?

Well….does it? With the topic of discrimination on the minds of all Americans these days, it begs the question: Does dyslexia impact one gender, race, class, ethnicity, or geographic location more than another? 

Dyslexia occurs in every race, culture, gender, race, and socio-economic group. Dyslexia crosses racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines.  It impacts woman and men equally, and can be found amongst speakers of every language and in every community.  

 In fact, it is highly genetic with a 50% pass rate between generations.  This neurobiological reading disorder affects 1 in 5 people.  This equates to over 30 million adults in the United States.  Research also shows that upwards of 10 million children live with this disorder in this country, alone.  Not surprisingly, it is the most common learning disability.  In fact, of those placed in special education for a learning disability, around 80% of them have dyslexia.  Sadly, it is most often overlooked when searching for causes of illiteracy.  Many dyslexics aren’t diagnosed until high school, college, or even middle age. Some never receive an explanation for their struggles with reading.   No national studies have been conducted regarding the prevalence of dyslexia among prisoners, but a study of Texas prisoners in 2000 found that 48 percent were dyslexic and two-thirds struggled with reading comprehension. 

We have identified that dyslexia does not discriminate among gender, culture, race, or geographic location.  The question is MORE, is dyslexia UNDER-IDENTIFIED in some communities and racial groups.  And the answer is YES. 

Even though it is by far the most common reading disability, many of those with dyslexia remain undiagnosed and untreated. This is especially true in public schools and even more so in minority African-American and Latino communities.  Issues with reading may get attributed to a lack of intelligence or effort. Teachers of undiagnosed students may never have heard of dyslexia. Much of this is due to a lack of education and funding.  Education and understanding of dyslexia is especially prevalent amongst school districts lacking the funding and manpower to dedicate efforts.  Without this, we have an under identification of students exhibiting attributes of dyslexia.  Not only that, understanding of the caliber of true remediation efforts, such as those provided by a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT) at Dyslexia On Demand, is widely not understood.  

Dyslexia On Demand hopes to change that through providing a virtual presence of education and remediation.  Additionally, we offer lower cost therapeutic options to lower income families through our use funds of our partnering nonprofit, MPOWER Dyslexia, and by offering the optional of a CALT trainee.  Education is power.  The more we know, the more we can help spread change.  

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