What is Dyslexia

Dyslexia, also known as Specific Learning Difficulty, is the most common form of learning disability. It is estimated that between 10% - 20% of the population have dyslexia, presenting with difficulty with receptive oral language skills, expressive oral language skills, reading, spelling, or written expression.

Although these literacy difficulties are often the most visible signs, Dyslexia can also affect the way information is processed, stored and retrieved, with problems of memory, speed of processing, time perception, organisation and sequencing. 
Dyslexia varies in degrees of severity.

The prognosis depends on the severity of the disability, specific patterns of strengths and weaknesses with the individual, and the appropriateness of the intervention. It is not a result of lack of motivation, sensory impairment, inadequate instruction, environmental opportunities, low intelligence, or other limiting conditions. It is a condition, which is neurologically based and often appears in families. Individuals with dyslexia respond successfully to timely and appropriate intervention.

Common symptoms of Dyslexia

Ron Davies gives a comprehensive list of 37 common symptoms of Dyslexia on his website at www.dyslexia.com

Definitions of Dyslexia

Unfortunately, there is no single, commonly accepted definition of dyslexia so here are a few used by respected organisations.

According to the World Federation of Neurology, dyslexia is

a disorder manifested by difficulty in learning to read despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence and socio-cultural opportunity.”

The definition of dyslexia posted in April 2012 on the UK Department for Education website states that pupils with dyslexia may have

a marked and persistent difficulty in learning to read, write and spell, despite progress in other areas. Pupils may have poor reading comprehension, handwriting and punctuation. They may also have difficulties in concentration and organisation and in remembering sequences of words. They may mispronounce common words or reverse letters and sounds in words.”

Definition used by BDA Code of Practice for Employers: (Dr.Lindsay Peer, 2006):

Dyslexia is a combination of abilities and difficulties that affect the learning process in one or more of reading, spelling and writing. It is a persistent condition. Accompanying weaknesses may be identified in areas of speed of processing, short-term memory, organisation, sequencing, spoken language and motor skills. There may be difficulties with auditory and /or visual perception. It is particularly related to mastering and using written language, which may include alphabetic, numeric and musical notation. Dyslexia can occur despite normal intellectual ability and teaching. It is constitutional in origin, part of one’s make-up and independent of socio-economic or language background. Some learners have very well developed creative skills and/or interpersonal skills, others have strong oral skills. Some have no outstanding talents. All have strengths.”


Information Documents


             AAOF          ADHD Support Group