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About Dyslexia



Simple Definition

Dyslexia is an inherited condition that makes it extremely difficult to read, write, and spell in your native language—despite at least average intelligence.


Revised Definition from the International Dyslexia Association


Dyslexia is a neurologically-based, often familial, disorder which interferes with the acquisition and processing of language. Varying in degrees of severity, it is manifested by difficulties in receptive and expressive language, including phonological processing, in reading, writing, spelling, handwriting, and sometimes in arithmetic. Dyslexia is not the result of lack of motivation, sensory impairment, inadequate instructional or environmental opportunities, or other limiting conditions, but may occur together with these conditions. Although dyslexia is lifelong, individuals with dyslexia frequently respond successfully to timely and appropriate intervention.


Research Definition used by the National Institutes of Health


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 growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.



Warning Signs of Dyslexia


In Preschool


• delayed speech

• mixing up the sounds and syllables in long words

• chronic ear infections

• stuttering

• constant confusion of left versus right

• late establishing a dominant hand

• difficulty learning to tie shoes

• trouble memorizing their address, phone number, or the alphabet

• can’t create words that rhyme

• a close relative with dyslexia


In Elementary School


• dysgraphia (slow, non-automatic handwriting that is difficult to read)

• letter or number reversals continuing past the end of first grade

• extreme difficulty learning cursive

• slow, choppy, inaccurate reading: - guesses based on shape or context - skips or misreads prepositions (at, to, of) - ignores suffixes - can’t sound out unknown words

• terrible spelling

• often can’t remember sight words (they, were, does) or homonyms (their, they’re, and there)

• difficulty telling time with a clock with hands

• trouble with math - memorizing multiplication tables - memorizing a sequence of steps - directionality

• when speaking, difficulty finding the correct word - lots of “whatyamacallits” and “thingies” - common sayings come out slightly twisted

• extremely messy bedroom, backpack, and desk

• dreads going to school - complains of stomach aches or headaches - may have nightmares about school


In High School


All of the above symptoms plus:

• limited vocabulary

• extremely poor written expression - large discrepancy between verbal skills and written compositions

• unable to master a foreign language

• difficulty reading printed music

• poor grades in many classes

• may drop out of high school


In Adults Education


history similar to above, plus:

• slow reader

• may have to read a page 2 or 3 times to understand it

• terrible speller

• difficulty putting thoughts onto paper - dreads writing memos or letters

• still has difficulty with right versus left

• often gets lost, even in a familiar city

• sometimes confuses b and d, especially when tired or sick


All information selected from Bright Solutions for Dyslexia    

To learn more about Dyslexia visit

Bright Solutions for Dyslexia


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