Dyslexia Defined

Dyslexia Defined: Dyslexia is a specific learning disorder that affects reading and writing. Children with dyslexia have difficulty decoding written words and are generally poor spellers.

A learning disorder can be considered dyslexia if a child does not have a language impairment, nor an intellectual disability, and has received effective classroom instruction, but continues to have great difficulty with the phonological aspect of language.

Another area that contributes to reading disorder is what is known as RAN, or Rapid Automatic Naming.

Children with dyslexia are not fluent readers (which means reading is very much stop/start) and have difficulty recognizing words they have previously learnt.

Dyslexia is now thought to have a neurological cause. Recent studies indicate that children with dyslexia use different parts of brain physiology, compared to typical readers. (Wolf, 2008)

In layman's terms, children with dyslexia have trouble reading and writing, and there really is no good reason why this should be. Dyslexia is not correlated with a child's social background either. Children with dyslexia can come from a variety of different backgrounds.

Dyslexia cont...

It's a puzzle. Parents of children with dyslexia may have read books to their kids dutifully since they were babies, and immersed their children in language rich activities throughout their pre-school years.

Yet, when these children begin school, it soon becomes apparent that despite their cleverness, and often excellent oral and social language skills, they can't crack the alphabetic code.

Dyslexia also has quite devastating consequences on critical skills such as reading comprehension , inferencing and vocabulary acquisition.

To read about dyslexia intervention please click here.


Blank, M. (2006)The Reading Remedy. Six Essential Skills that Will Turn Your Child into a Reader. Jossey-Bass

DeKemel, K.P. (2003) Intervention in Language Arts: A Practical Guide for Speech-Language Pathologists. Butterworth-Heinemann.

Paul, R. (2001) Language Disoders form Infancy through Adolescence. Assessment and Intervention. Mosby

Wolf, M. (2008) Proust and the Squid. The Story and Science of the Reading Brain Icon Books Ltd.

Content updated 8/11

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