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But my kid can read, so they can't possibly be dyslexic!

It is a common misunderstanding that dyslexic people simply can't read, and can't learn to read fluently. However, it is also a common misunderstanding that if a child learns to read at an early age, they can't possibly be dyslexic. Because of this misunderstanding, a child who possesses the capacity to memorize enough sight words and is intelligent enough to quickly synthesize contextual cues are able  to make it seem like they are reading proficiently. Meanwhile, their ability to decode unfamiliar words, struggle to find the right words to express themselves orally or in written language, and  difficulty with various aspects of written expression goes undetected until they reach  second or third grade (or even later).  Even some clinicians who are qualified to conduct dyslexia evaluations believe that if a child has learned to read at an early age, they can't possibly be dyslexic. 

A child's ability to memorize sight words and contextualize information does not necessarily correlate with their ability to recognize and properly associate letter sounds with their corresponding letter symbols, especially when reading words that are unfamiliar to them (words they did not memorize). Remember, dyslexia is a neurological condition that causes difficulty with these processes. A child's ability to memorize sight words and even read early reader books with convincing expression does not correlate to their ability to comprehend longer texts, especially when there are more words that they have not memorized in that text. This is why finding the right evaluator and set of evaluations is so crucial. 

One of the most powerful explanations of how damaging this misconception can be is the story of this mom and her journey to obtaining an accurate diagnosis and education program for her child.


Perhaps you will identify with her story. 

Episode 6 of the Black and Dyslexic Podcast: Bad Azz Parent Advocate with Nikki Francis 

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