Originally published in The Jerusalem Post, In Jerusalem July 8, 2016
IF YOU had to guess how many children out of 100 have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), what would you say?
What about autism? Dyslexia?
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of November 2013, up to 11 percent of children have been diagnosed with ADHD.
Also according to the CDC, about 1.5 out of 100 children have been identified as having autism.
And according to an ongoing Yale University study begun in 1983, which follows kindergarten children in all public schools in Connecticut, one in five children have dyslexia.
Surprised? It turns out that dyslexia is the most common learning disability. However, it is often not diagnosed. This is especially true in Israel, where in some cases the word dyslexia isn’t even on the evaluation sheet as an option for the clinician to choose. The result is that many children who have dyslexia (which is not reading letters backwards, but more on that later) are not diagnosed and do not get the help they need. As a result, they fail in school and all that comes with it.
Dr. Rinat Green, a staunch advocate on behalf of children with dyslexia in Israel, has made it her life’s work to change reality for them. She estimates that a large number of street kids could have been saved had they been properly diagnosed and treated for their dyslexia.