Common myths about dyslexia

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Common myths about dyslexia

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What are some of the myths of dyslexia. There are many myths that are floating around. First, many people think that dyslexia is caused by lack of intelligence. Well, that’s simply not correct. Second, many people think that boys really have dyslexia and girls don’t. That is not true as well. Third, some people think that dyslexia is caused by an actual eye problem, an actual visual problem. That is not correct either. In fact, dyslexia is caused by a wiring glitch in the back of the brain. It has to do with a language processing problem in the brain. So that myth is not correct. There is another myth that I really hear a lot every day, it’s that the children will grow out of it. You don’t grow out of dyslexia. Dyslexia is chronic. As a matter of fact, a child who has dyslexia will get worse over time, because they’ll have more to do, more text to read as they get older. Another myth is that children and adults who are dyslexic reverse numbers and letters. This is another myth that is simply not based on the literature. So it’s important to look at myths and it’s important to look at what is not a myth. Get your child help.

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Karen Schiltz, PhD

Neuropsychologist

Dr. Schiltz is a clinical psychologist, licensed in the state of California. From 1985-1987, she completed a post-doctoral residency in clinical neuropsychology at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine within the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. She received her doctoral degree in psychology in 1984 from the American Psychological Association accredited California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. Dr. Schiltz has conducted a private practice specializing in the clinical and forensic neuropsychological assessment of children, adolescents, and young adults since 1988. She has held an appointment as an Associate Clinical Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine within the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, since July of 2004. She also held an appointment as an Assistant Clinical Professor within the same department from September 1993 to July of 2004. Dr. Schiltz has been a clinical supervisor within that department since August 1993 to the present time. Her faculty duties at UCLA include lecture presentations in the field of pediatric neuropsychological assessment, attentional disorders, accommodation assessment guidelines, and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Dr. Schiltz has written numerous articles on regulation and selective neurobehavioral disorders. In her 24 years of clinical work with children, adolescents, and young adults, she has emphasized the critical importance of integrating neuropsychological assessment findings to the application of accommodations to the classroom and home environments in a “user-friendly” manner. Dr. Schiltz supports a comprehensive team approach in the assessment and remediation of children who struggle with cognitive, learning, behavioral, social, and emotional difficulties. She sees a variety of students who are referred subsequent to or in the process of being diagnosed with a suspected learning disorder, attentional and concentrational compromises, suspected social communication disorder, memory disorder, neurotoxin exposure, scuba diving illnesses, seizure disorders, traumatic brain injury, cognitive changes due to medical illness or surgery, substance abuse disorder, pervasive developmental disorders, high cognitive ability profiles, among other neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions. Her experience has come from assessing children and working on intervention teams both in the hospital units as well as university and private-practice based settings.

In addition to her private practice and academic supervisory duties, Dr. Schiltz has written, co-written, and/or presented over 81 papers, manuscripts, and publications. Her book, Beyond the Label, was published by Oxford University Press in 2012. The book, along with coauthors Amy M. Schonfeld and Tara Niendam, helps parents and educators recognize the warning signs that may indicate a potential problem with a child and explain how to find the best help. Throughout the book, the authors stress that by focusing on behaviors and not labels, parents will be able to better understand the whats, whys, and hows of a child's learning and emotional challenges.

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