Quick quiz: When’s the last time you read something? Trick question! You’re doing it right now. The truth is, we’re surrounded by words and sentences—on the back of the cereal box, the sign at the bus stop, the side of a shampoo bottle.
Many of us read these words and sentences without giving much thought to what we’re doing, but for more than 10 percent of the population, reading is a conscious effort. That’s because these people have dyslexia, a condition that affects their brains’ ability to process language. For people with dyslexia, reading can be a struggle, even if they’re super-geniuses at a lot of other things. Dyslexia has nothing to do with how smart you are, but it can make it difficult for you to read quickly, to read without making mistakes, or to remember and make sense of what you’ve read.
Many incredibly successful people have dyslexia, but it can cause academic challenges and affect self-esteem if it isn’t diagnosed. Here’s what New York City teen Amber wants you to know about what dyslexia is—and isn’t—and why it’s important to ask for help if you think you might have it too