Our Readers' Opinions
February 27, 2018
Do you know a person like this?

by Lynden Punnett

BA Cert.Ed.Dip.T.E.F.L. Dip.SpLD (Dyslexia)

Continued from last week

Research Showing the Incidence of Dyslexia among Offenders:

BDA Project – Bradford Young Offenders 2004: 31 per cent showed indicators of dyslexia.

The Incidence of Hidden Disabilities in the Prison Population. (2005) Dyslexia Action. Conclusion: 52 per cent had literacy difficulties and 20 per cent had a hidden disability such as ADHD.

Gavin Reid, Young offenders in Scotland 2001: 50 per cent of those studied had indicators of dyslexia.

How to Help the Adult Dyslexic

• Present written information in an accessible format. Use left-aligned text rather than justified text for better accessibility.

• Ask the person with dyslexia what they need. Make sure you’re talking to the person privately and discreetly, and respect the confidentiality of all that is said.

• Provide a list of possible accommodations. Making a list of all the possible accommodations ahead of time allows the dyslexic person to know what you’re willing and able to do to support them in the workplace or classroom.

• Recognize that the dyslexic adult may be unaware of their diagnosis. They may never have been diagnosed with dyslexia, yet this learning disability affects their everyday life.

• Protect the privacy of a person’s diagnosis. If you’re an employer or a teacher, you are responsible for maintaining confidentiality of your employee or student’s disability status.

• Use dyslexia-friendly font. Plain, sans-serif, evenly-spaced fonts, such as Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, Geneva, Verdana, Century-Gothic, and Trebuchet, are all easier

• Avoid causing visual distortion for dyslexic readers. . Use short paragraphs instead, limiting each paragraph to one idea. Avoid a plain white background, as it can make font harder to focus on.

• Select paper that is optimal for reading. Avoid digital print processing, which can result in a shinier finish. Experiment with different coloured paper to find the shade that the dyslexic person is most able to read successfully.

• Provide clearly written directions. Where possible, include visual diagrams, pictures and flowcharts.

• Making use of technology. Use speech-to-text software. Use text-to-speech feature. Get familiar with apps.

• Know about differences in information processing. Auditory processing may also be affected, and people with dyslexia may not be able to process spoken information readily.

• Find out about memory differences. Short-term memory is often a weakness for dyslexic people, and they may have a hard time remembering facts, events, plans, etc.

• Learn about communication disabilities. Someone with dyslexia might have word-retrieval problems, or an inability to figure out how to put their thoughts into words.

• Know about literacy differences. Reading comprehension may be slower for the dyslexic adult. Technical terminology and acronyms may be especially challenging.

• Be aware of sensory differences. Dyslexia may interfere with the person’s ability to concentrate, and they may appear easily distracted. Background noises or movement might be hard to screen out.

• Understand visual stress in dyslexia. When a person is experiencing visual stress, printed text may appear distorted, and letters within words can seem blurred. Text might seem to be moving on the page. Realize that stress makes dyslexic deficits more pronounced. Using different colours of ink, or different shades of paper may help minimize visual stress.This tendency can result in lower self-esteem and diminished confidence. Learning coping skills for stress may help skills be more consistent.

• Know about strengths associated with dyslexia. They may have better visual-spatial skills.

Dyslexic adults may have greater creativity, curiosity, and an aptitude for “out-of-the-box” thinking.

Famous dyslexics are:

Richard Branson, Tom Cruise, Walt Disney, Guy Ritchie, Whoopi Goldberg, Jim Carrey, Albert Einstein.