Before dyslexia was highly researched, it was thought that dyslexia was due to a problem with vision. A major breakthrough was the discovery that dyslexia is due to a problem in language, not in vision.
This changed instruction dramatically, for people who believe dyslexia exists. As if we could believe something proven does not exist :-/
I will never forget opening my own practice testing and tutoring students with dyslexia. You see, I had been teaching at an elementary school, where, when I mentioned dyslexia teachers would look at me as if I was crazy. There are many reading specialists, special ed teachers, regular teachers, and parents of dyslexic students who know exactly the look I am talking about.
“Dyslexia doesn't exist why do you think you know about it?”
“I've heard that you can only assess for dyslexia once a student is eight. This student is 6 so of course, they don't have dyslexia.”
“Dyslexia is really rare, why would we test for it?”
After I finished teaching at that school site, I had to figure out how I was going to get my first clients.
The Small Business Development Center helped me with a marketing plan, part of which was to put a logo and the words “Could it be Dyslexia?” on my van.
The response about dyslexia was like night and day. The general public does know about dyslexia and that's exactly why I got my first clients.
At the school site, there was a blanket unawareness and unwillingness to learn about dyslexia.
But the General Public? Almost every time for months and even years after putting that sign on my van I had random people coming up to me saying, “My uncle is dyslexic.” or “My cousin is dyslexic.” or “I am dyslexic but I don't think I was ever diagnosed properly.” Over the years I've come to the conclusion that since teachers don't know and haven't learned about dyslexia, it's easier for them to deny its existence. Of course, this does nothing to educate students and help students become literate which should be the goal of every educator. Learn about how Phonological Development is one of the first strands to work on when teaching a dyslexic student. Technical Paper