How Decoding Dyslexia Can Help Decode the Mind

During this school year, thousands of children will begin reading. Despite their best efforts, however, up to a tenth of them will struggle. If we were aware of the early warning signs, we could help these children by using research-based remediation. But dyslexia is poorly understood by the public. Unveiling these misconceptions can help millions of children. It could also help decode the human mind.

To shed light on the public view of dyslexia, let us take a moment to play clinician. Consider John and Jack, who suffer from reading difficulties. John confuses letters, like b and d, while Jack struggles to link letters with sounds; he doesn’t recognize that kat sounds like the name of a familiar animal. Which one has a reading disorder?

If you are like most laypeople, you would probably think John’s letter reversals are the telltale sign of dyslexia. But reading science suggests otherwise. Dyslexia,

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