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What Is DyslexiaWho Is Dyslexic?

The exact number of dyslexics is not known. Some experts think that as many as one out of every fifteen Americans is dyslexic. Government statistics indicate that 25 million Americans, or one out of every ten, are functionally illiterate (can't read or write). The primary cause of their illiteracy is dyslexia; over 85 percent of adult illiterates are dyslexic. It is further estimated that 10 to 15 percent of school-age children have dyslexia. Yet despite the large numbers of people with dyslexia, it is estimated that only 5 percent of dyslexics are ever properly diagnosed and given appropriate help.

Until recently, nothing was known of dyslexia. Dyslexics got little help. In school, they were put in classes with developmentally disabled students. As adults, they were given only simple jobs because they were often illiterate. It was very difficult for dyslexics to become successful, independent, productive members of their community. Few people recognized that dyslexics were enormously talented and gifted in some areas and could do much to enrich society.

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