What is Dyslexia?

 Definition of Dyslexia

Word Meaning
dys: difficulty with        lexia: language
So basically dyslexia is a difficulty with language.

Simple Definition
"dyslexia: a reading difficulty in a child or adult who otherwise has good intelligence, strong motivation and adequate schooling."
                                                                         -Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz, M.D.
Detailed Definition
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.
                                                                          - International Dyslexia Association

Characteristics of Dyslexia

  • Strong thinking skills but very slow to progress in reading
  • Strong understanding of anything read aloud
  • Strong oral vocabulary
  • Family history of dyslexia
  • Delayed speaking
  • Pronounciation difficulties and “babytalk”
  • Can’t rhyme
  • Can’t come up with the right word (on the tip of my tongue)
  • Difficulty learning letter names and sounds
  • Can’t read or sound out small words: the, that, cat
  • Makes wild guesses about words
  • Relies heavily on context and guesses the word
  • Poor spelling
  • Poor handwriting
  • Trouble remembering phone numbers, names, etc.
  • Fear of reading aloud; slow, labored oral reading
  • Trouble with math word problems
  • Asks you to read the homework
  • Reading is exhausting

What Does Dyslexia Look Like?

Boys or Girls. Even though boys are more likely to be identified as dyslexic, research shows dyslexia affects boys and girls equally. The boys are more likely to show their frustration in physical ways that get them noticed, whereas girls may sit quietly while their problems go unnoticed.

Self Conscious Kids with dyslexia are self-conscious about their difficulties. They may be terrified when asked to come to the board or read aloud. They are understandably frustrated and may suffer from low self esteem. Younger kids will protest or even hide when it’s reading time.

Smart and original. Kids with dyslexia are often strong conceptual thinkers. They’re big-picture people with outside-the-box ideas. They learn best through meaning rather than memorization. They excel in areas that are not dependent on reading, such as math and the arts. They do well in highly specialized careers such as law, medicine and architecture.

Great Resources

http://www.interdys.org/index.htm  The International Dyslexia Organization

http://www.dyslexia.yale.edu/HaveDyslexia.html   The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity