Dyslexia definition now covers wider range of reading disorders

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There are several myths about the reading disability known as dyslexia, according to Cornell Atwater, director of Issaquah’s Learning Rx center.

For one thing, and perhaps most importantly, dyslexia has nothing to do with mixing up letters. People who have dyslexia do not necessarily see words differently than other people. Further, persons diagnosed with dyslexia do not have one single form of reading disorder.

“Dyslexia really encompasses anyone who has difficulty reading,” Atwater said.

For her part, Kathy Gottlieb agreed. Gottlieb is a literacy TOSA (teacher on special assignment) with the Issaquah School District. She said the district does not use the word “dyslexia” in describing student reading problems.

“It’s a medical diagnosis,” Gottlieb said, later adding that the district does complete comprehensive testing for reading disabilities.

Instead of mixed up letters that need to be descrambled, Atwater talked about reading disabilities or dyslexia in terms of coding and decoding words or letters. Persons may have problems with connecting letters or words on a page with the sounds usually connected with those words or letters.

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