What is Dyslexia? Information on Learning Disorders

what is dyslexia?What Is Dyslexia?

The International Dyslexia Association offers the following definition for dyslexia:

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.”

As definitions go, this one is thorough but almost as difficult to understand as the condition itself!

 

So, let’s consider the keywords describing what dyslexia is:

learning disability suggests that a person with this condition may have challenges in learning and/or processing certain types of information;

neurological means that this is a condition caused by a difference in the organization of brain circuits; very importantly, this also means that dyslexia is not a “developmental disorder,” caused by laziness, diet, bad eyesight, poor teaching, or poor parenting;

word recognition is our ability to make sense of words that we see or hear; difficulty with word recognition is often one of the first indicators of dyslexia;

deficit in the phonological component of language means that this condition, dyslexia, makes it difficult for the person to distinguish between speech patterns and sounds; for example, tap and tab may sound very much like the same word;

unexpected indicates that people with dyslexia are typical of normal intelligence; they are often, in fact, very bright;

reading comprehension is simply the ability to make sense of what we read.

About 20% of humans worldwide, and about 11 million children in the United States, have this brain processing problem, dyslexia, that doesn’t allow them to read and write at the same level as their peers.

 

If you have any questions about diagnosing dyslexia and treatment, make sure to sign up for our blog posts below. You can also give us a call at 1-919-747-4557 or send us an e-mail at info@lexercise.com.

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Sandie Barrie Blackley, MA/CCC

MA/CCC - Cofounder and CKO

Sandie is a speech-language pathologist with more than 30 years of experience in the private practice sector. She is Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders at University of North Carolina Greensboro, and founder/owner of the Language & Learning Clinic, PLLC, a private practice in Elkin, NC, and Greensboro, NC, specializing in communication disorders, including disorders of reading and written language.