When we treat dyslexia as a “mental disorder” instead of a common brain difference that requires different reading instruction, we become over-reliant on a pathological diagnostic model that insists on “substantial and significant” failure for identification (DSM-5).
Although the National Institutes of Health estimates that one in every five people has dyslexia, and dyslexia is easily identifiable at a young age, less than five percent with dyslexia are identified and less than one percent get diagnosed by psychologists. (NIH, P. Hardman, 2013)
This means that if you have a stadium filled with 100,000 people, 20,000 of them will have dyslexia. Less than 1000 of those 20,000 with dyslexia will be identified through screening and/or testing, and *only 200* will qualify for services through the public education system because of a formal diagnosis.
32 million Americans have low literacy skills and are unable to read anything more challenging than a picture book. Our U.S. Education Secretary recognizes that this is, in large part, due to diagnosed learning disabilities. Yet, we still are using “wait to fail” identification.