What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty usually associated with difficulties in the areas of reading, writing and spelling. However as those affected have difficulty with the processing of information, they are also likely to have problems with memory, speed of processing, time perception, organisation and sequencing. Dyslexia is thought to affect around 10% of the population, 4% severely.
The British Dyslexia Association have adopted the following definition of dyslexia from Sir Jim Rose’s Report on “Identifying and Teaching Children and Young People with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties”, 2009
“Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.
- • Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed
- • Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities
- • It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points
- • Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor coordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.
A good indication of the severity and persistence of dyslexic difficulties can be gained by examining how the individual responds or has responded to well founded intervention.”
In addition to these characteristics the BDA acknowledges the visual and auditory processing difficulties that some individuals with dyslexia can experience, and points out that dyslexic readers can show a combination of abilities and difficulties that affect the learning process. Some also have strengths in other areas, such as design, problem solving, creative skills, interactive skills and oral skills.