The Dyslexia Foundation Hosts Symposium on Dyslexia: Beyond a Reading Disability

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The Dyslexia Foundation (TDF) hosted a weekend symposium, Beyond a Reading Disability, November 13-15, 2015, at MIT Endicott House, to consider and discuss currently available research about the current issue of whether there are specific areas of giftedness present in dyslexics, and how that should be studied.

The Dyslexia Foundation (TDF) hosted a weekend symposium, Beyond a Reading Disability, November 13-15, 2015, at MIT Endicott House, to consider and discuss currently available research about the current issue of whether there are specific areas of giftedness present in dyslexics, and how that should be studied.

The consensus of the group was that a clear link between dyslexia and giftedness/talents has not yet been shown to exist and that more research is needed. They recommend well-designed, unbiased studies of this issue, as it will have relevance to how dyslexia is treated, how to advise parents with children who are dyslexic, and how to best serve and identify dyslexic students with potential in academic areas other than reading. Therefore, it is important, as researchers and practitioners consider special talents or giftedness, and to not limit help for reading problems to those who have high IQs or special talents.

We need to be looking for strengths in all students, of course, but that includes all students who struggle with reading, whether already diagnosed as dyslexic or not, and whether they are in wealthy middle class families or living in poverty. We need to be looking both in the “good” schools and in the schools that are not known to be full of merit scholars. If there are specific areas of ability – visual-spatial skills, musical abilities, etc., that may be more commonly occurring in individuals with dyslexia, then we should be looking at those skills in all children, and figuring out scientifically if there is a greater representation among those with reading difficulties and, if so, how to capitalize on that to their benefit.

And, true to the motto of The Dyslexia Foundation, not only those with dyslexia but those researching and treating dyslexia, must Never Quit Trying!

About The Dyslexia Foundation
TDF is a non-profit foundation that seeks to promote scientific breakthroughs in early detection, prevention, and remediation of dyslexia and related reading difficulties and to unlock the full potential of children and adults with dyslexia so that they may personally succeed and contribute fully to society. For more information, please visit http://dyslexiafoundation.org/ or call 941-807-0499.

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Will Baker
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