Decoding and Demystifying Dyslexia

Available with English captions and subtitles in Spanish.

Dyslexia is far more common than many realize, affecting nearly 10% of the population. Many folks with the condition may see words or letters differently. But dyslexia doesn’t just impact reading and, if unaddressed, can affect a person’s learning abilities and self-esteem.

So how can we make a complex condition feel less complicated to everyone involved in its management?

Audience Questions

Roberto Olivardia, PhD, explains what causes the challenges in learning to read and spell written words, shares ways to recognize the signs of dyslexia, provides tales from personal experience to help with condition management, and answers audience questions about dyslexia.

  • What exactly is dyslexia and where does it occur in the brain?
  • Can you outgrow it or cure it? Or is this a lifelong condition?
  • What are some signs that parents or guardians should look for if they believe their child may have dyslexia?
  • What should parents be asking for in their child’s school system to ensure their child is not lagging behind? How does a parent navigate that process with the school system and be their child’s advocate?
  • What can parents do to mitigate self-esteem problems in their children who have dyslexia?
  • Are there relationships between other mental health conditions and dyslexia? Do you know of any co-occurring and/or challenges associated with ADHD and dyslexia?
  • Can you talk about the stigma that surrounds dyslexia and how the association of shame with the condition can affect other aspects of mental health?
  • Could you share some common pitfalls that providers may make in clinical assessment and treatment of dyslexia, and how folks new to practicing medicine can overcome them?
  • As a new clinical provider who has dyslexia, how can I best advocate for myself with regards to charting in a timely manner?
  • What are some of the best evidence-based interventions and/or instructional programs available for dyslexic individuals?
  • What are some reputable resources for adults with dyslexia?
  • Based on your own experiences with the condition, how has it shaped your perception of dyslexia, and what words of wisdom do you have for folks either caring for someone with dyslexia, working through their own dyslexia, or both?

The information discussed is intended to be educational and should not be used as a substitute for guidance provided by your health care provider. Please consult with your treatment team before making any changes to your care plan.


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About Dr. Olivardia

Roberto Olivardia, PhD, conducts diagnostic evaluations at The Pavilion at McLean Hospital. He maintains a private practice in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he specializes in the treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), as well as issues that face students with learning disabilities. He is a nationally recognized expert in eating disorders and body image problems in boys and men.

Dr. Olivardia is co-author of The Adonis Complex. He specializes in evidence-based psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral treatment. He currently serves on the Professional Advisory Boards for Children and Adults With ADHD (CHADD), The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA), and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for ADDitude. He has spoken on numerous webinars and presents at many talks and conferences around the country.

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