Contrary to popular belief, not every person with dyslexia will reverse letters while reading and writing. In fact, such reversals are very common while children, both those with dyslexia and those without, are first learning to write. After two years of explicit handwriting instruction, children should no longer struggle with reversals. If they do, this may be a sign of dyslexia. However, the erroneous belief that all people with dyslexia will reverse letters and even words while reading and writing may in fact be delaying diagnosis and intervention for many individuals.
Despite its clear impact on how many individuals with dyslexia experience visual information, like text, dyslexia is not a vision problem. That is why dyslexia cannot be successfully remediated through vision therapy programs, no matter how intensive. Instead, individuals with dyslexia, a language-based disorder, must be explicitly instructed in all levels of language, from phonemic awareness to morphology, in order to “break the code” and successfully learn to read.
Dyslexia is a lifelong condition. An individual with dyslexia will always have a unique brain when compared with a non-dyslexic individual. Additionally, reading will always be a far more focus- and labor-intensive activity for a dyslexic individual when compared to a “typical” reader. Still, a diagnosis of dyslexia does not mean that an individual will be forever barred from experiencing the joy of reading, or left out of opportunities that require one to read well. When they are taught language skills with a different, more tailored approach that works to engage all pathways in learning, many individuals with dyslexia can experience success with text for the first time.