Our Motto: “take your differences and MAKE a difference.”
Section 1, Domain Purpose.
The purpose of the new domain is to increase awareness for the need to reduce social and emotional stigma of dyslexia, and to support a newer terminology. Someday, it will be our hope that all dyslexic people could be referred to as supralexic or reading disorder or reading disability. A dictionary definition for the prefix ‘supra’ is “beyond normal or over normal.” The genesis of this new conceptual word comes from the Society of Supralexia (S.O.S.).
Before we stamp the student with the stigma, let us mandate that social and emotional learning issues will be considered at the time of our diagnosis. We should remember that as children, we are real, live little people with big real problems and issues. This is an important concept, a much needed concept. The emotional and social impact of dyslexia has been neglected in recent years. We know it is related to the technological and scientific tsunami affecting the entire world.
Section 2, Introduction.
We need a new word for dyslexia. We feel it is extremely pejorative and judgmental. The use of the words reading disorder or disability are more appropriate and consistent with supralexia. The use of the definition and the word ‘supralexia’ would allow us to be thinking in a more positive fashion. We know it is especially important that our feelings should be treated in a holistic manner. Remember that thoughts are just things but feelings are really facts.
All of us will frequently require multiple providers. We should be aware of the need for social and emotional learning. The debate over the word ‘dyslexia’ is simply a matter of nomenclature. Everyone involved in the diagnosis, care of and treatment of us with dyslexia may have an ax to grind. Some think that their livelihood or income may be influenced by a possible change in the apparent seriousness of the word ‘dyslexia.’
Our emotions for and against the word dyslexia are very deep. We feel embarrassment and shame. These feelings begin to involve over our whole personality and lead to other problems for us.
We know that reading issues can be easily divided into understandable terminology. We suggest such words as ‘mild’, ‘moderate’ or ‘advanced’. We also suggest the words ‘temporary’ or ‘persistent’. We feel that great care should be given so that other possible problems can be avoided. We may feel many different emotions: Embarrassment, shame, guilt, confusion, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, anger, disappointment, discouragement, depression, anxiety, fear, panic, and suicide.
Is the educational, scientific and technologic industry addressing the possibility of these feelings we are having? We do not want any of us to have our abnormalities overlooked. Emotional failures can affect us on any day in any place at any time, and we will be very difficult to deal with.
Section 3, Definition – Overview.
Our dyslexia does not exist as a single, well-defined entity. The word ‘dyslexia’ is misleading and includes difficulties with words, spelling and memory. We have a complex condition that impacts every aspect of our lives. It can leave us with social stigma. We frequently will develop negative coping strategies, all of which will have an adverse outcome.
Dyslexia is inexorably woven into our self-image, our self-confidence and our self-esteem. Our complex entity will have numerous variables. These will occur in different degrees and different levels of seriousness occurring at any time.
We know it is critically important that others recognize this fact and be aware that reading disorders are a lifelong continuum. Their awareness should be followed by an acceptance of us as special people. This in turn will help them to analyze the situation and develop an action plan (awareness, acceptance, analysis and action plan).
Section 4, Non-Agreement of Diagnosis.
Experts have reached a substantial degree of consensus that dyslexia is a severe reading disorder. This will be elaborated as this website develops.
This is Dr. James Arthur O’Leary and my associate, Dr. Warm empathy feelings.