About dyslexia : 1. A definition
1. A definition
Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that primarily affects the ability to learn to read and spell. It often runs in families and stems from a difficulty in processing the sounds in words. Some 10% of the UK population are affected.
A formal definition of dyslexia was recommended by Sir Jim Rose in an independent report: Identifying and Teaching Children and Young People with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties which was agreed by the Department for Education in 2009.
The definition’s main points are:
- It affects the ability to learn to read and spell.
- It involves difficulties in dealing with the sounds of words, which makes it especially hard to learn to use phonics to read words.
- It can affect short-term memory and speed of recalling names.
- Other kinds of difficulties, for example with maths or with co-ordination, sometimes go alongside dyslexia, but they do not always.
- Dyslexia is not the same for everyone:
- it can be mild or severe;
- it varies depending on other strengths, or difficulties;
- it varies depending on the kind of support and encouragement that is given at school, at home and at work.
What are the other important things we know about dyslexia?
- People with dyslexia often have strengths in reasoning, in visual and creative fields; dyslexia is not related to general intelligence; and is not the result of visual difficulties.
- Dyslexia usually runs in families, but there is still much that can be done, especially if intervention is given early.
- Many people learn strategies to manage the effects of dyslexia, but it does not go away and its effects may be felt in new situations or in times of stress.
- People with dyslexia often, but do not always, show characteristics of other specific learning difficulties such as dyspraxia, attention deficit disorder or dyscalculia.
Pennington B F, (1990) The Genetics of Dyslexia, The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry [Online] Volume 31, Issue 2, pages 193–201. Accessed from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-7610.1990.tb01561.x/ab...
Did you know?
Dyslexia can make some things harder to learn. But, almost always, those barriers to learning can be overcome, especially with the right kind of help and support.