|Dyslexia is a specific reading disability due to a defect in the brain’s processing of graphic symbols.
|It is a learning disability that alters the way the brain processes written material.
|It is typically characterized by difficulties in:
· word recognition
· spelling and decoding
· problems with reading comprehension
|§ Learning to read – the child, despite having normal intelligence and receiving proper teaching and parental support, has difficulty learning to read.
§ Milestones reached later – the child learns to crawl, walk, talk, throw or catch things, ride a bicycle later than the majority of other kids.
§ Speech – apart from being slow to learn to speak, the child commonly mispronounces words, finds rhyming extremely challenging, and does not appear to distinguish between different word sounds.
§ Slow at learning sets of data – at school the child takes much longer than the other children to learn the letters of the alphabet and how they are pronounced. There may also be problems remembering the days of the week, months of the year, colours, and some arithmetic tables.
|§ Coordination – the child may seem clumsier than his or her peers.
Catching a ball may be difficult.§ Left and right – the child commonly gets “left” and “right” mixed up.§ Reversal – numbers and letters may be reversed without realising.
|§ Spelling – may not follow a pattern of progression seen in other children. The child may learn how to spell a word today, and completely forget the next day. One word may be spelt in a variety of ways on the same page.
|§ Phonology problems – phonology refers to the
speech sounds in a language. If a word has more
than two syllables, phonology processing becomes
much more difficult.
For example, with the word “unfortunately” a person with dyslexia may be able to process the sounds “un” and “ly”, but not the ones in between.
§ Concentration span – children with dyslexia commonly find it hard to concentrate for long, compared to other children. Many adults with dyslexia say this is because after a few minutes of non-stop struggling, the child is mentally exhausted. A higher number of children with dyslexia also have ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), compared to the rest of the population.
§ Sequencing ideas – when a person with dyslexia expresses a sequence of ideas, they may seem illogical for people without the condition.