Global Dyslexia Awareness Campaign

Join us on a journey to increase awareness for and identification of dyslexia in Nigeria.

2021 Campaign Theme: Invisible Dyslexia

You may know adults and children who find it difficult to understand what they read, write fluently, remember information, multitask, stay organised or prioritise tasks. Do you know these are common signs of dyslexia?
‘Dyslexia’, or, ‘difficulty with words’, is a specific learning difficulty that mainly affects the development of literacy and language-related skills, particularly those required for reading, writing and spelling.
Dyslexia affects 1 in 5 people. About 40 million Nigerian children and adults are dyslexic, struggling with literacy and language skills, poor working memory, poor organization and poor concentration amongst others. Yet, with identification and the right support, they are big picture thinkers, highly creative,
excellent at idea generation and strong in problem-solving and they make some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world.
This October, global dyslexia awareness month, Dyslexia Nigeria is embarking on a campaign to increase awareness about dyslexia in Nigeria. This year’s theme is ‘Invisible Dyslexia’, highlighting the challenges and gifts of living with a difficulty that impacts multiple facets of life, but which is often ignored because it cannot be seen and because it occurs independently of an individual’s level of intelligence.

Understanding means seeing the invisible

People living with dyslexia are often told they don’t ‘look’ sick or in pain, and they certainly don’t look like they have a difficulty.
Generally, seeing a person in a wheelchair, with a hearing aid or with a walking stick tells us they may be disabled. So does seeing a person with distorted facial appearances as in Down’s syndrome, or with obvious social communication challenges as in autism spectrum disorder.
Because others cannot see the learning challenges, fatigue and cognitive difficulties of dyslexia and how it affects all aspects of life, they often do not believe the signs shown by individuals with dyslexia like mixing up words that sound alike, difficulty with reading, comprehension, writing, spelling.
In schools, individuals with dyslexia are often labelled as lazy or unmotivated, performing significantly below their potential despite normal to high intelligence. In the workplace, they are often penalised for the difficulties they face with basic tasks like correctly copying text and numbers, meeting deadlines or
remembering a sequence of instructions.
Dyslexia is also invisible in those with other developmental challenges, because people assume those challenges are wholly responsible for all their learning difficulties. However, this is not so and developmental difficulties have been proven to co-occur. For example, up to 60% – 80% of children with autism have Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Syndrome (ADHD); up to 15% of children with autism have dyslexia, and children with Down’s syndrome have been shown to have difficulty with phonological awareness, a core part of learning to read and a critical aspect of dyslexia. Consequently, children with autism or Down’s syndrome may struggle with reading not purely because of these disorders, but because their disorders co-occur with dyslexia.
Making dyslexia visible is therefore important to improve the life chances of millions of people, including those with and without other developmental disorders, and it promises a high impact return.