The Phonologic Model Explains Differences in Intelligence
When teachers explain the evolution of children's reading to parents, they often say "up until somewhere in second grade most students are learning to read, but at some point during the second grade year this shifts to reading to learn."
Children with dyslexia typically struggle with reading well past their second grade year when that shift to needing reading for learning occurs. In fact, some children actually may not show any signs of dyslexia until their third grade year or beyond when the words they must decode, or sound out, become increasingly complex. The phonologic model teaches us that people with dyslexia struggle with the individual parts of words and how they are put together, making decoding difficult. Because dyslexia means decoding is challenging, school, a system rooted in reading, also is challenging.
The good news: the part of the brain that deals with phonics and phonemes is separate from the part of the brain that makes meaning. Thus, skills like comprehension, critical thinking, problem solving, reasoning, creativity, just to name a few, are frequently intellectual strengths for students with dyslexia. The other good news is that the brain is maleable so systematic, intentional, intervention really makes a difference for children who have dyslexia or like learning disabilities.