Say dyslexia


It’s getting harder to ignore the growing number of dyslexia naysayers in the world. Your intentions may be good, but it hurts when you won’t say dyslexia.

“Dyslexia is not real.”

“Dyslexia is a social construct.”

“Dyslexia is a harmful label.”


You don’t like labels? Let me tell you about labels. I’ve had a lifetime of them.







These are the words and fears that torment dyslexics, young and old. It happened when I was a kid, and it’s happening right now, in classrooms here in Canada, the U.S., and around the world.

What’s in a name?

Properly identified, labels are a first step to getting help–if not a cure, an improvement to quality of life. If you have ADHD, you are offered treatment and support. Anxiety? There’s therapy and medication for that. Short sighted? Get prescription glasses or laser eye surgery.

But dyslexia? It’s the the most common learning disability that you won’t name.

Not real? 80% of all children diagnosed with specific learning disorder are actually dyslexic. It’s a scientifically proven neurological difference, it’s genetic, and it’s cited in the psychiatric bible DSM-5.

Harmful label? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, being identified as dyslexic was hugely cathartic for me. It helped me shed the negative labels haunting me from childhood; it helped me find tools and strategies to compensate for my challenges.

For my daughter, a dyslexia diagnosis opened the door to proper reading instruction, tech-support and greater self-confidence. It prevented a lifetime of pain and struggle.

It helped us find a wonderful community, and celebrate our creative dyslexic brains.

More than anything, isn’t it my right to use the term? After all, I’m not making it up. My teacher identified (but did not name) the problem in grade two, and forty years later I was diagnosed by a psychologist after a lengthy battery of cognitive tests.

I’m not alone. My informal Twitter survey showed a clear preference for the term “dyslexic” and “dyslexia” over reading disabled or learning disabled.


I don’t see dyslexia as a negative label. Why do you?


  1. TheFeatheredSleep

    I have Dyscalculia – that’s even more marginalized and denied by society so I can relate to this. It is so awful anyone would deny either exists, when it’s been throughout history that people have been very smart but had some issue with either words or numbers or a combination of both. Usually you are smarter than the average person but it doesn’t help if people cannot understand you because they are too busy judging you. I’m really sorry, I know if you don’t let it stop you, NOTHING can stop you doing whatever you want to do in life. I wish you only good luck and good days ahead, dyslexia isn’t a negative label to those of us who know what it is, so those who don’t, well they just are neg-heads we must learn to ignore. HUGS

    Liked by 1 person

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