There are numerous definitions and descriptions of dyslexia which can make it very confusing for parents seeking help for their children. This is because it is still not completely understood how the brain exactly functions and research is ongoing in this field.
Here we have tried to give some short general descriptions:
- The word 'dyslexia' comes from the Greek language and means 'difficulty with words'.
- People with dyslexia have very slight differences in the part of the brain that deals with language. They have problems with reading ,writing or spelling. In addition they may well have weaknesses with memory, organisation,concentration and mathematics.
- Dyslexia is in no way connected to intelligence – in fact dyslexics usually have normal or above normal IQ.
- Dyslexia is not an illness – its is a life long condition and can be genetic and run in families.
- Dyslexia varies in its severity from one person to another.
- It is a hidden disability – you can’t see it when you look at the child.
British Dyslexia Association -
Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty which mainly affects the development of literacy and language related skills. It is likely to be present at birth and to be lifelong in its effects. It is characterised by difficulties with phonological processing, rapid naming, working memory, processing speed, and the automatic development of skills that may not match up to an individual’s other cognitive abilities. It tends to be resistant to conventional teaching methods, but its effects can be mitigated by appropriately specific intervention, including the application of information technology and supportive counselling. ( Nov 2007 )
International Dyslexia Association -
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.
All of the above are general descriptions and definitions – remember each child is different and will not necessarily have exactly the same profile or problems.As parents,we need to help our kids with their specific weaknesses and find strategies to help them rather than worrying too much about exact definitions of dyslexia.