Girls Told They Are Stupid
Hi, I’m Samantha from Learning Success. We produce videos to help parents embrace their child's brilliance and unleash their full potential.
There may be just as many girls who struggle with dyslexia, dyscalculia, or dysgraphia as there are boys. Yes, that statement flies in the face of conventional wisdom. The common belief that is presented by the experts is that more boys are dyslexic than girls. But we’re pretty sure that long-held common belief is just wrong. And we’ve got some pretty good evidence to back that up. Not only that, it’s this common belief that is a big part of the problem. Because many think that dyslexia is uncommon in girls, it often doesn’t get looked for in girls. It gets missed. And then these girls suffer.
We think this is a big problem that is just being ignored. Often, instead of getting the help they need, dyslexic girls just get put down. Told to try harder. Marked as lazy or stupid. We know this is common because we get so many emails from women who didn’t get help and later in life realized how much it hurt them. And we also have data that shows it.In this video, I am going to reveal that data.
Even dyslexic celebrities tell the same tale.
Barbara Corcoran, of Shark Tank, says “I was labeled as the ‘dumb kid’ that couldn’t read or write”
And she has said that that feeling sticks with her even today, despite all of her success.
Jennifer Aniston was quoted as saying “I thought I wasn’t smart, I just couldn't retain anything”
And Cher said “I couldn’t read quickly enough to get all my homework done, and for me, math was like trying to understand Sanskrit”
Even Professor Elizabeth Blackburn, who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine said. "I had a lot of trouble in school and was put into remedial classes. I thought that I was stupid"
These women made it in life, but even so, the emotions stuck with them. Maybe those feelings of inadequacy pushed them to their success. Personal demons can do that. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Success comes to the confident too.
Dyslexia and Feelings of Inadequacy
Nobody wants to have to struggle with feelings of inadequacy their entire life. But so many do. The countless emails we get at Learning Success tell that story. Most are very emotional stories about feeling stupid and trying to hide it. They missed out on opportunities. Their social lives were damaged. And worst of all, their self-esteem was damaged. If they had just gotten the help they needed when they needed it the most. This needs to stop, and hopefully this video goes a long way in stopping it. Please share it with someone it might help.
The subject of whether there are more dyslexic boys has been argued about endlessly.
A 1990 Study purported "no significant differences in the prevalence of reading disabilities in research-identified boys compared with research-identified girls".
But a 2004 study refuted the 1990 study. They concluded. "Reading disabilities are clearly more frequent in boys than in girls."
Up til now, the latter study seems to be more popular. Most information out there claims that 2-3 times more boys are dyslexic. The information I’m about to show you not only contradicts that, but also gives some evidence for the emotional toll this takes on girls.
Let’s get into it.
The data comes from our very popular online Dyslexia Screener. The screener is linked in the description.
More Girls Searching for Dyslexia Help
The first thing we noticed was that over 60% of those searching for and taking the screener were filling it out for a girl. As seen in this chart
These people had searched for terms such as "Dyslexia Test", landed on our website, and completed the screener. So presumably, the majority of searches for "dyslexia Test" are people looking for help for a girl. Yes, actually more girls than boys despite popular knowledge saying there are more dyslexic boys than girls
This doesn't settle the debate. The number of searches does not necessarily give us proof that there are more dyslexic girls. It is strong evidence but not proof. But, since it does contradict common ideas, it did force us to stand up and take notice. And when we dug deeper into the data, that's when we found something even more alarming. We believe that what I’m about to show you is far more important, and far more distressing than whether or not there are more dyslexic boys than girls.
Distressing Dyslexia Data
What was it? Well, it was a couple of things
The first thing that stood out was the age spreads.
The ages of the boys the screener was being filled out for were MUCH Younger than the ages of the girls!!!
The boys were being screened at very young ages. Ages at which intervention is much simpler. Ages where self-esteem has not yet been deeply damaged. The majority were between seven and nine. If caught at that age the emotional issues that come with a learning struggle can be prevented. The boys were being screened at these early ages.
But for girls, this was much different. The girls were identified much later. Most in their teens or even more often, as adults.
Check out this chart of the data.
Notice that the boys, in blue, are being screened at early ages. At age 8, roughly half as many girls are being screened. But then at age 14, that reverses. There are far more girls. At age 18 plus, those numbers skyrocket.
This chart shows percentages as a percentage of given gender. In other words, girls as a percentage of girls screened and boys as a percentage of boys screened.
But let's look at the data a different way . As a percentage of total screenings.
Expressed in this way we can clearly see the number of screenings for girls nearly triples those for boys at ages fourteen through sixteen and over double for adults. Are you getting the picture? This problem is severe. It’s affecting lots and lots of girls.
Looking at the percentages below and above age 13 we get this graph.
Dyslexia Interventions for Girls
Here we can see that of all of the screeners taken for girls only 37% of those were taken below age 13. Whereas for boys 56% of respondents were below age 13.
A reading disability usually does not just pop up at age fourteen or fifteen. Signs will start early on as a child is learning to read. So something else must be going on. Why are the searches for girls not happening predominantly until teens or later? Are girls not getting the interventions they need and therefore falling far behind their potential?
Severely Dyslexic Girls Feel Stupid
Let’s look at this next chart.. This tells a story as well. This shows the number of symptoms expressed. We can see that, of the girls that were screened at younger ages, they expressed far more symptoms. What that might mean is that they got noticed because their difficulties were so severe. They were less able to hide their problem.
And that brings us to a possible reason why this is happening.
It’s very likely that this is happening simply because girls are generally more skilled socially. They are generally more emotionally intelligent at younger ages. And they can use their social skills to disguise the problem. Why would they do that? It’s simple. Just like any other kid with a specific learning disability, they assume that they are stupid. They aren’t. They just think they are. So they do everything they can to hide it. And girls are just better at that. Where boys may act out, girls may act more pleasant. And no one would suspect someone so nice and pleasant to be hiding a learning struggle.
I can’t even imagine how much emotional damage this is causing. We wanted to know so we dug into that data as well.
Dyslexic Women and Anxiety
This graph, which is also from data from the screener, shows physical symptoms that may be related to anxiety. Notice the high incidence of these symptoms for girls in their teenage years.
While these physical symptoms were higher both in boys and girls in their teens, notice that the change is much larger in girls and also continues into adulthood much more than for boys. The emotional symptoms tend to diminish for boys but for girls, they get worse.
While there are probably many reasons for this, remember that girls are more likely to socialize over books they have read. For many girls, this is a normal part of their social life. Being cut off from that might not let them develop bonds they otherwise might have formed. And that can lead to social isolation and stress.
our way to doing just that.
Dyslexic Girls Social Life
It is clear that the majority of girls without reading challenges are actually better readers than boys. Studies have shown that girls are far more likely to read for entertainment than boys. And of course, this propensity for reading will develop reading skills. Additionally, girls, in general, have better language skills than boys. Stronger vocabularies are developed earlier, more complex sentence structures are used, More complex word combinations, and even more communicative gestures. And these differences actually expand with age. But with dyslexia, all of this would be affected.
So it is possible that, because girls are generally better readers, when a girl is suffering from a specific reading disability, this may affect her emotionally even more so than it does a boy. Maybe girls with reading challenges feel more isolated because they are not able to enjoy reading in the way that their peers do.
This would mean that the effects of a specific reading disability on girls are further reaching and may have far more emotional effects. Additionally, it may have a deeper effect on self-esteem.
Does it? Let’s find out.
Well, as it turns out, that is the most alarming part of all of the data.
Dyslexic Girls and Self-Esteem
Notice in this chart that between ages five and twelve, signs of diminishing self-esteem are close to equal between boys and girls, but between thirteen and eighteen the signs of diminished self-esteem have risen dramatically for girls. These are high numbers for both boys and girls but the numbers of teen girls who are experiencing very low self-esteem is shockingly high.
We can see here that symptoms of low self-esteem increased from an average in the low forties to an average of around seventy percent. A whopping seventy percent of these girls are showing multiple indicators of dramatically reduced self-esteem. Couple this with the physical symptoms and I think we can reasonably say that a majority of these girls are also experiencing high levels of anxiety.
That’s Bad! The data seems to indicate that many girls are seriously affected emotionally.
Dyslexia Undiagnosed in Girls
Are the majority of girls with dyslexia or a specific reading learning disability going completely undiagnosed and not getting the help that they need? Or at least not in time? From this evidence, it would appear so. It seems very clear that interventions are happening much later with girls or not at all. In today's education system, interventions for boys are lacking, and interventions for girls seem to be far worse.
Regardless of whether or not there are more male dyslexics than female dyslexics this data still signifies that huge numbers of girls are not getting the help they need. They are simply being ignored. In this situation, it is likely that their lives are dramatically affected and they will bear emotional scars and simply not live up to their potential because they didn’t get help. ********end #11**********
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