World Dyslexia Day is observed every year across the globe on October 4. What many of us take for granted, such as reading and writing fluently, is an area of struggle for those who have dyslexia. Dyslexia is a common learning disorder that affects a person’s ability to read and write properly. Dyslexics are often unable to read quickly and write without committing errors. Dyslexics might struggle with reading, writing, vocabulary, and tasks that require hand-eye coordination. It affects 20% of the population and makes up 80% to 90% of all those with learning disorders. World Dyslexia Day raises awareness about these issues and what can be done to manage such a disorder.
History of World Dyslexia Day
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects both children and adults. Since its manifestation is almost always external, it can be quickly diagnosed. Dyslexia was first identified by German physician Oswald Berkhan in 1881. It was named ‘dyslexia’ by ophthalmologist Rudolph Berlin six years after the disorder was identified. Berkhan discovered the existence of the developmental reading disorder while analyzing the case of a young boy who had reported severe difficulties in learning to read and write properly. Since the patient was otherwise intellectually and physically sound, Berkhan was especially intrigued by his case.
Once his findings became popular, Berkhan realized that his young patient wasn’t a rare case and that in fact, many adults seemed to be suffering from it too. Like some other disabilities, dyslexia cannot be treated just by medication. Patients often need therapy, innovative methods for learning, and persistent care by caregivers to live a life where their learning difficulties can be managed. When the disorder is undiagnosed, patients are often mistaken as lazy, slow learners, or stubborn with a knack for stirring up trouble. This is, of course, far from the truth.
Since dyslexia was discovered, doctors and therapists the world over have been trying to find the best ways for dyslexics to manage their disorder. Since reading can be a challenge for dyslexics, a special dyslexia font has been invented to make reading easier. Apart from World Dyslexia Day, Dyslexia Awareness Month — created by The International Dyslexia Association — is also celebrated during the month of October every year.
World Dyslexia Day timeline
Adolph Kussmaul describes the disorder as ‘word blindness.’
Samuel Orton’s paper argues that dyslexia is, in fact, a mental disorder.
Advancements in medical science and linguistic information help the cause.
The Bollywood hit movie “Taare Zameen Par” helps to destigmatize dyslexia.
World Dyslexia Day FAQs
What is the color for dyslexia awareness?
Red is the color for dyslexia awareness.
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). It affects the areas of the brain that process language.
What famous person has dyslexia?
Many famous people may have had dyslexia, including Leonardo da Vinci, Saint Teresa, Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, Carl Jung, Albert Einstein, and Thomas Edison.
How to Observe World Dyslexia Day
Take part in awareness programs
Do your bit on World Dyslexia Day by participating in awareness programs. This is a great way to learn how to identify symptoms, see what you can do to help, and then you can forward the resources to those in need.
Donate to organizations
Donate money and also get your friends to donate money to different organizations that work for the welfare of the dyslexics. This is a great way to observe World Dyslexia Day.
If you feel that you can be of help to someone with dyslexia, extend your time to them. On World Dyslexia Day, pledge to help dyslexics with diagnosis, therapy, medical care, and more.
5 Interesting Facts About Dyslexia
The word has Greek roots
‘Dys’ means ‘inadequate’ and ‘lexis’ means ‘words’ or ‘language.’
It does not affect all language abilities
Dyslexia is more likely to cause difficulties in deciphering certain words or sounds.
It’s quite common
It makes up almost 90% of all those with learning disorders.
It may be hereditary
Children with a dyslexic parent are more likely to also be dyslexic.
Some very famous people were dyslexic
Albert Einstein, John Lennon, and Alexander Graham Bell were all dyslexic.
Why World Dyslexia Day is Important
It destigmatizes the disorder
Dyslexics are often looked down upon for being slow, stubborn, and lazy. But that is not the case. World Dyslexia Day eradicates such prejudices and raises awareness about what exactly the disorder is.
It gives a sense of belonging
World Dyslexia Day helps patients with dyslexia and their caretakers feel like they belong. It can help them form communities, share resources, and encourage each other to live more fulfilling lives.
A chance to do your bit
World Dyslexia Day also allows you to do your bit for the community. By attending awareness programs, making donations to helpful causes, and spreading the word about the day, you make the world a better place for dyslexics.
World Dyslexia Day dates