Skip to main content

What is dyslexia? - Kelli Sandman-Hurley


28,491 Questions Answered

TEDEd Animation

Let’s Begin…

Dyslexia affects up to 1 in 5 people, but the experience of dyslexia isn't always the same. This difficulty in processing language exists along a spectrum -- one that doesn't necessarily fit with labels like "normal" and "defective." Kelli Sandman-Hurley urges us to think again about dyslexic brain function and to celebrate the neurodiversity of the human brain.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

At the beginning of the video you had the opportunity to experience what it feels like to struggle through a written text. Dyslexia for a Day: A Simulation of Dyslexia is a kit with five simulations that can be implemented by anyone. Here is the writing simulation in full. Click here for complete information about Dyslexia for a Day.
Dyslexia is a complex construct with many different facets that need to be addressed. There are the jobs of finding the right intervention, working with the school district and becoming well-versed in dyslexia. This blog post includes a plethora of websites, articles and book suggestions to find out more.
Visit the Dyslexia Training Institute to become trained in the intervention that is widely accepted in the dyslexia community (Orton-Gillingham).
Decoding Dyslexia is a non-profit movement that is led by parents of children struggling with dyslexia. They are a local resource for parents in 25 states. This is the flagship branch that can send you in the right direction.
For information about Special Education Law and Dyslexia: and
Dr. Sally Shaywitz recently wrote, “In the case of dyslexia, (while there is always the desire for more), there is currently sufficient knowledge to do a far better job in identifying, intervening in and accommodating dyslexia. There is an unacceptable and harmful wide gap between the robust existing science of dyslexia and how this knowledge is implemented, typically not implemented, by schools. In dyslexia, there is not a knowledge gap but rather an action gap. As a consequence dyslexic children frequently go un-identified, un-remediated and un-accommodated with great harm to the children, to their families and to society. Educators must act to translate this body of converging science into policy and practice. Our children's lives and futures (human capital) is too precious to waste.”

Next Section »

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Kelli Sandman-Hurley
  • Animator Marc Christoforidis
  • Narrator Michelle Snow

More from Mind Matters