Dyslexia is a learning disability/difference that can hinder a person’s ability to read, write, spell and sometimes speak.
Dyslexia – Research Definition
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
(Adopted by the National Institutes of Health, 2002)
Beyond the Myth
As many as one in five students have dyslexia. Undiagnosed or without special instruction, dyslexia can lead to frustration, school failure, and low self-esteem. The common myths about dyslexia are that dyslexics read backwards and reverse words and letters. While these characteristics may be part of the problem with some individuals, they are NOT the most common or most important attributes.
Dyslexia is not a disease! Individuals with dyslexia have trouble with reading, writing, spelling and/or math although they have the ability and have had opportunities to learn. Individuals with dyslexia can learn; they just learn in a different way. Often these individuals, who have talented and productive minds, are said to have a language learning difference.
- Dyslexia is the most prevalent type reading disability.
- Studies show that individuals with dyslexia process information in a different area of the brain than do non-dyslexics.
- It creates problems with automatic retrieval of words and memory for non-meaningful symbols which greatly hampers an individual’s ability to read, spell, form letters legibly, and put thoughts in writing. It is caused by phonological processing difficulties, not visual acuity, convergence, or processing.
- Dyslexia lasts a life-time. It is not curable. Dyslexia affects the entire population and is not related to intelligence.
- Many people who are dyslexic are of average to above average intelligence.
- The prognosis depends on the severity of the disorder and the remedial approach.
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