September 26, 2016, Newsday, Long Island cartoon can be a nightmare for someone with dyslexia, a language-based disability. Why? Many people think dyslexia is just reversing letters and not being able to read, but it is so much more. There are a host of tell-tale signs. In this cartoon, the words “deportable” and “deplorable” look similar. Notice the prefixes are the same as well as the suffixes. Only the Latin roots “port” and “plor” are different. Even someone without a learning disability might have to read the cartoon twice to catch the differences and the irony. However, someone who shows signs of dyslexia would either overlook the differences or read these words very slowly to catch the contrasting details, and then might still even miss the meaning. This is not a product of intelligence; people with dyslexia are usually extremely intelligent. Multisyllabic words can be difficult for someone with a language-based disability. Since words like “deplorable” and “deportable” are not in a young child’s reading vocabulary, this difficulty might not surface until third or fourth grade. This is why many reading problems are not noticed right away. By middle school, it becomes a real challenge to keep up with reading assignments that require advanced decoding skills.
(High Five Literacy and Academic Coaching is located in Plainview, Long Island.)
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