Dyslexia Basics

“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.”

International Dyslexia Association

Dyslexia affects one out of every five children.

Dyslexia does not represent a temporary lag in reading development that will be naturally overcome in time.

Dyslexia represents profound and persistent difficulties in learning to read found in some very bright people.

Most Dyslexic individuals (research indicates 88%) share a common phonologic weakness.  This is a lessened ability to translate letter shapes into sounds.

Brain repair of Dyslexia has been clearly identified in functional MRI scans.  The rewired brain is then “virtually indistinguishable from that of a child who has never had a reading problem.”

Even those with severe Dyslexia can learn to read.

(All points from Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz, M.D.)


  • slow reader
  • poor speller
  • dislike reading aloud
  • fear ridicule of peers
  • had or are having difficulty learning to read
  • can read, but there have been years of delay
  • difficulty pronouncing uncommon words
  • guesses at pronouncing words
  • often re-reading to understand meaning
  • omit, add or transpose letters when reading or writing
  • tend to choose shorter books or articles
  • tend to avoid tasks requiring a considerable load of reading
  • highly creative and inventive
  • excel in non-academic areas such as music, sports, drama, or art
  • difficulty learning a foreign language
  • disorganized – unable to process in an orderly way what do next
  • behaviors of frustration with school assignments to the point of anger or despair
  • talk of wanting to quit school
  • struggle with low self -esteem
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