The International Dyslexia Association defines dyslexia as 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 a life long disorder, however, many children with dyslexia respond very well to early intervention and appropriate teaching strategies & modifications in the classroom.
Dyslexia is a specific kind of reading difficulty. Despite average to above average intelligence, children with dyslexia have difficulty learning to "decode," or read words by associating sounds and letters or letter combinations. They have difficulty recognizing common "sight words," or frequently occurring words that most readers recognize instantly. Examples of sight words are "the" and "in." Children with dyslexia also have difficulty learning how to spell, sometimes referred to as "encoding." Recent research suggests that there are two main features of dyslexia.
Dyslexia comes from the Greek language meaning 'difficulty with words'. It's a symptom of a number of different information processing disorders in the brain. Because there are so many different possible underlying problems (many of which have yet to be understood fully) dyslexia is hard to closely define because it affects children in many different ways. However, the basic problem is a difficulty learning to read, spell and write, despite adequate intellect and teaching.
If you are reading this because you think you may have dyslexia, you may be feeling a little apprehensive about what it means for you. Has your child just had a diagnosis and you recognise their issues in yourself, or have you recognised your difficulties through reading sites such as this one? However you came to think this, you are probably worrying about what to do with this knowledge, whether to find answers to your questions or just leave them be. I hope you find this blog is useful; it is not an academic analysis of dyslexia and its implications, it is a personal reflection of dealing with dyslexia as a teacher and as a parent...
One of the most controversial educational questions is, what causes dyslexia? It has baffled teachers and psychologists for over a hundred years. David Morgan examines what he sees as some of the possible causes.
"I shudder to think what it would have been like without music," says Sasha Baldwin, mother to three teenage sons who are all dyslexic. Luke, 17, plays the violin and guitar. Patrick, 15, plays the piano, organ and trumpet while Robert, 14, is a gifted French horn player. They all sing too. Yet at primary school they struggled from early on as dyslexia manifested itself in different ways in each of them.