According to the World Federation
of Neurologists in 1968, dyslexia is
defined as a disorder in children
who, despite conventional classroom
experience, fail to attain the language
skills of reading, writing, and spelling
commensurate with their intellectual
Children with dyslexia have
difficulty in learning to read
despite traditional instruction, at
least average intelligence, and an
adequate opportunity to learn. It is
caused by an impairment in the
brain's ability to translate images
received from the eyes or ears into
Characteristics of dyslexia
Some shared symptoms of the speech/hearing
deficits and dyslexia:
Confusion with before/after, right/left, and so on
Difficulty learning the alphabet
Difficulty with word retrieval or naming
Difficulty identifying or generating rhyming
words, or counting syllables in words
Difficulty with hearing and manipulating sounds
in words (phonemic awareness)
Difficulty distinguishing different sounds
in words (auditory discrimination)
Difficulty in learning the sounds of letters
Difficulty associating individual words
with their correct meanings
Difficulty with time keeping and concept
Confusion with combinations of words
Difficulty in organization skills
Reading and spelling
- Spelling errors — Because of difficulty learning
letter-sound correspondences, individuals with
dyslexia might tend to misspell words, or leave
vowels out of words.
Letter order - People with dyslexia may also reverse
the order of two letters especially when the
final, incorrect, word looks similar to the intended
word (e.g., spelling "dose" instead of "does").
Letter addition/subtraction - People with dyslexia
may perceive a word with letters
added, subtracted, or repeated. This can lead to
confusion between two words containing most of the
Writing and motor skills
Because of literacy problems, an individual
with dyslexia may have difficulty with
handwriting. This can involve slower writing
speed than average, poor handwriting
characterised by irregularly formed
letters, or inability to write straight on a
blank paper with no guideline.
Some studies have also reported gross motor
difficulties in dyslexia. This difficulty is
indicated by clumsiness and poor
Dyslexia and dyscalculia have separable
cognitive profiles, namely a
phonological deficit in the case of
dyslexia and a deficient number
module in the case of dyscalculia.
Individuals with dyslexia can be gifted
in mathematics while having poor
reading skills. They might have
difficulty with word processing
A study has found that entrepreneurs
are five times more likely to be dyslexic
than average citizens
Evidence based on randomly selected
populations of children indicate that
dyslexia affects boys and girls equally;
that dyslexia is diagnosed more
frequently in boys appears to be the
result of sampling bias in school-
identified sample populations.
Since the symptoms of dyslexia were first
identified by Oswald Berkhan in 1881, and
the term 'dyslexia' coined in 1887 by Rudolf
Berlin, generations of researchers have been
investigating what dyslexia is and trying to
identify the biological causes. Theories
should not be viewed as competing, but as
attempting to explain the underlying causes
of a similar set of symptoms from a variety
of research perspectives and background.
Prevalence of dyslexia is difficult as
different scholars and different
countries often use different criteria to
distinguish the cases of dyslexia in the
continuum between the able and
delayed readers at schools. According
to the existing literature, the
prevalence of dyslexia can vary widely
usually occurs after some form of brain trauma
or injury to the area of the brain that controls
reading and writing. It is rarely seen in today's
Individuals with this type are rarely able to read
above a fourth-grade level and may struggle
with reading, spelling, and writing as adults.
Primary dyslexia is passed in family lines
through their genes (hereditary). It is found
more often in boys than in girls.
is often multifactorial, due to impaired letter writing
automaticity, finger motor sequencing
challenges, organizational and elaborative
difficulties, and impaired visual word form which
makes it more difficult to retrieve the visual picture of
words required for spelling.
a neurological condition characterized by a problem
with basic sense of number and quantity and difficult
retrieving rote math facts.
Proficient reading is an essential
tool for learning a large part of the
subject matter taught at school.
With an ever increasing emphasis
on education and literacy, more
and more children and adults are
needing help in learning to
read, spell, express their thoughts
on paper and acquire adequate use
It is a class teacher's responsibility
to provide an atmosphere
conducive to learning for all pupils
within their class.
Class teachers need to have an
understanding of the problems
that the dyslexic child may have
within the classroom situation.
When organising placement arrangements
for disabled students, it is vital that
placements are planned in detail and in
direct consultation with a student well in
advance of their outset, so that any
necessary adjustments can be identified.
Any application process for placements
should be accessible for students with
disabilities, and such individuals may
benefit from being provided with extra
support and guidance while applying.
It is important for a department to consider carefully
and cater for the specific requirements of a student
with a disability as a matter of priority when allocating
If a student is to be placed away from home the overall
impact of relocating must be considered.
Dyslexia Awareness Week 2011
31 October 2011
The British Dyslexia Assocation supports
a wide range of projects and
organisations, lobbies for a more
dyslexia friendly society and also runs
the national helpline that deals with over
12,000 calls a year.
The Marion Welchman International
Award for Dyslexia 2011: Michael Davies
The B.D.A. would like to congratulate Michael
Davies on this much deserved award and
thank him for his outstanding contribution to
helping the lives of Dyslexic individuals.
Michael set up DyslecsiaCymru/Wales
Dyslexia in 2001 and has been instrumental in
campaigning for and bringing about
improved information, resources and services
for dyslexic individuals in Wales and beyond.
Inclusion Development Programme (IDP):
Dyslexia and Speech, Language and
Communications Needs (SLCN) – An interactive
resource to support headteachers, leadership
teams, teachers and support staff
- The Primary and Secondary IDP resources have been
made available on one integrated DVD in order to
support continuity and progression for pupils, and to
support the alignment of key messages related to the
inclusion and achievement of pupils with dyslexia or
speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).
- The DVD includes video exemplification drawn from
both primary and secondary schools. This presents
users with a choice in terms of viewing and using
samples from one or both phases.
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