Dyslexia is the most common and well recognised among the ranges of specific learning disabilities.
The definition of dyslexia:
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological 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 the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
As indicated by Fletcher and colleagues (2007),
Reference: Fletcher, J. M., Lyon, G. R., Fuchs, L. S., & Barnes, M. A. (2007). Learning disabilities: From identification to intervention. New York: Guilford.)
Basically for people with dyslexia reading, spelling and pronouncing words are a challenge as they cannot decode the phonological components of words.
The first step in helping someone with dyslexia is to IDENTIFY THEM:
To help identify a person with dyslexia here are some questions that can be asked:
Does the child…
- …have difficulty learning the relationship between sounds and letters?
- …appear to forget instructions easily?
- …frequently misread/misspell commonly occurring words?
- …have difficulty reading words quickly and accurately?
- …read a word accurately on one line and then fail to recognise it further down the page?
- …have difficulty remembering how to spell words over time?
- …have difficulty applying spelling rules?
- …experience literacy difficulties that are unexpected when compared to their strengths in other academic, artistic or sporting areas?
- …often substitute words that look similar when reading?
- …have difficulty comprehending what they read because of difficulties with word recognition?
- …tire easily and become distracted especially when expected to complete literacy tasks?
- …have a family member (or family members) with reading and writing difficulties?
- …read slowly and dysfluently?
- …experience difficulty in playing with the sounds in words when rhyming, counting syllables and removing individual sounds?
- …often leave literacy tasks unfinished?
- …struggle with reading and spelling particularly in comparison with their peers?
- …put in a great deal of effort but have little to show for it?
- …not progress at the expected rate despite extra assistance?
- …struggle for no apparent reason?
If someone says Yes to many of these statements, there is a potential chance they have dyslexia and need a more thorough diagnosis.