Sunday, October 8, 2023

Dyslexia – What % of the world is dyslexic


Here are a few tweets and my response.

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel

Most of the so-called dyslexic kids are kids who have disengaged from learning to read due to confusion. They shut down from learning to read. Get rid of the root causes and you will not have to blame Phonics or Lucy Calkins or BL.

Teaching EcoSystems Matter @CreditFlex

Not sure I’d say “most”. But really have had difficulty narrowing down the real percentage.

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel

The dyslexia advocates try to convince the world it is around 15 to 20%. Some researchers have said it is about 2 %. Recently David Boulton said it s/b around 3 to 5 %.

Here is the latest discussion between David Boulton and Andrew Johnson where this is mentioned. LINK


My comments now:

The following is extracted from the International Dyslexia Association website.

What is dyslexia? Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability.

My observation:

If dyslexia is a language-based learning disability why are kids able to read in many languages including Italian, Finnish, Malay, and many other languages? It is high time that we change the definition of dyslexia. Read more Here


Many of my students were certified as dyslexic by experts in Singapore and Sydney and then when there was someone qualified in Sabah I had one student certified as dyslexic by the Sabah expert.

Most of the others with no certificate were similar kids who could not read in English but among them many were able to read in Malay and Hanyu Pinyin.

Because of the various definitions, I decided to call all my students shut-down kids or disengaged kids. They had disengaged from learning to read due to confusion as a result of wrong teaching.

One trait of all these kids that is universal is that they are unable to read in English.

So, instead of quibbling on the definition and the percentage of students who are dyslexic – severely, not so severely and mildly – why don’t we focus on how to ensure they do not disengage from learning to read?

To ensure kids who are unable to read are able to read share the link to my book with your contacts. LINK

Here is a quote by Nancy Hennessy who was president of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) from 2003-2005.


“……even if we settle on a middle number, let us say 10%; that still leaves a lot of children who are not dyslexic, whose brains are not wired any different way, who have reading difficulty.

We are not supporting the learning of our teachers in order for them to do what we are talking about

We still don’t have the capacity nor the will to change what it is that we are doing with reading early on and so consequently unless we make those significant changes we are not only going to lose the dyslexics but I am also concerned about these other children; these other struggling readers.”

Read more here. 


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