7 Reasons Dyslexia Awareness Month is So Darn Important

(And 8 Ways to Promote It)

7 Reasons Dyslexia Awareness Month is so darn important

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month!

Why is dyslexia awareness just so darn important? Well, for starters, dyslexia is the most common learning disability, affecting up to 1 in 5 people.
Not only that, but without the right support, dyslexia can make school and work very difficult.

Closeup sad boy with worried stressed face expression looking down with brain melting into lines question marks. Obsessive compulsive, adhd, anxiety disorders concept

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Dyslexia can be a strength or a struggle, depending on the situation. For example, a person with dyslexia might be great at a task that involves big-picture thinking.

However, a person with dyslexia who is required to read to learn may struggle. But reading is an important part of school and learning.

That’s where the need for awareness comes in.

Dyslexia awareness can help us know which students may have dyslexia. This leaves room to give them the right help and support needed to be successful.

Many facts and statistics point to the need for dyslexia awareness, like:

  • Early intervention is important to school and career success.
    Intervention for students with dyslexia includes multisensory structured learning (MSL., MSL is an evidence-based way to teach reading to students with dyslexia. But it’s most effective when it’s done early, ideally around first grade.
  • Many people don’t know they have dyslexia.Dyslexia is greatly underdiagnosed and underidentified. This means many children and adults struggle unnecessarily and don’t know why.
  • Dyslexia doesn’t affect intelligence.Dyslexia doesn’t affect how smart somebody is. But people with dyslexia often say they feel like they aren’t smart, or felt that way when they were in school.
  • Students with learning disabilities are more likely to drop out of high school.Studies show that students with disabilities are far less likely than students without disabilities to graduate high school. But the right support can help!
    Read more about high school graduation rates for students with learning disabilities by visiting the The National Center for Learning Disabilities’ website.
  • Dyslexia runs in families.When a child is diagnosed with dyslexia, sometimes a parent or grandparent will come to understand that they have dyslexia too.It can be healing to understand why they struggle to read, or to learn that it doesn’t mean they’re not smart.
  • Rates of dyslexia may be high in prisons.A study done with people incarcerated in a Texas prison found that 50% had dyslexia, and many didn’t know it.The high rate of dyslexia in this group of people shows the need to support students who struggle with reading.
  • People with dyslexia can often learn to read. But reading might not be the best way for them to learn.The amount of brain power needed for people with dyslexia to read by decoding can overshadow their ability to understand what they are reading.Offering different ways to read can make a big difference in comprehension.
Student working on computer with headphones

Now that it’s clear WHY dyslexia awareness is such an important issue, it’s time to take action!
Pick one (or several!) items from the list below to do your part this October to turn dyslexia challenges into dyslexia strengths!

1. Learn to spot dyslexia signs and dyslexia symptoms.

Early detection of dyslexia is important because intervention is most effective when it happens early.

Learn to spot the signs of dyslexia in your student by reading this article where an occupational therapist answers common dyslexia questions.

2. Make sure learning materials are accessible to students with dyslexia.

People with dyslexia can often learn how to read, but not always.

The extra work their brains must do to decode makes it harder for them to deeply understand what they read.

But students with dyslexia can often understand grade-level reading even if they can’t decode it.

Audiobooks and text-to speech are two great ways to help students with dyslexia understand what they are reading.

That means giving students digital worksheets instead of physical handouts.

It also means including an audiobook option when you assign books to your students.

Visit The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials to learn more about accessible learning materials.

3. Read your students a book that talks about dyslexia, or includes a character with dyslexia.

Students with dyslexia can feel alone in their struggle. Seeing characters similar to themselves represented can help.

Not only that, reading a book about dyslexia to a class encourages compassion and understanding.

Check out our list of 10 dyslexia book recommendations, which includes several books for younger readers.

4. Help a child with dyslexia be a self-advocate.

Self advocacy skills can help people with dyslexia succeed in school and work.

We talked to Keri Huddleston, SLP, AT Specialist, and consultant about the benefits of self-advocacy. Here are her suggestions for teaching students with disabilities self-advocacy skills.

5. Read these suggestions from a disability rights lawyer with dyslexia.

We sat down with Ptahra Jeppe, a disability rights lawyer with dyslexia, to ask her how schools and parents could best support learners with dyslexia.

Discover what she said in this article about empowering struggling readers.

6. Read these suggestions from a disability rights lawyer with dyslexia.

We prepared several that you’re welcome to use!

7. Add a wallpaper to your phone or computer screen.
We’ve created a few to select from. To download, click on any of these mobile or desktop versions.

Mobile Device Dyslexia Awareness Wallpaper Graphics

Think Outside the Box Mobile Background
Never a failure always a lesson mobile background
mindset mobile background
Start before your ready wallpaper

Desktop and Laptop Dyslexia Awareness Wallpaper Graphics

Mindset background for desktop
Think outside the box background for desktop
Start before you're ready background for desktop
Never a failure always a lesson background for desktop

8. Attend a webinar or watch a video on dyslexia, and invite a friend or colleague to join you.
Several we would suggest include: