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What is Dyslexia

Updated on April 10, 2012

Dyslexia overview

Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects a person’s ability to read and in most cases write. Rarely a person with dyslexia may have problems in speech. Dyslexia is characterized by an inability to process what one sees and register it in a way that the brain can understand and translate the information. The symptoms of dyslexia include a lack of typical learning capabilities in reading and writing skills when at an average intelligence level for the person’s age.

Many people with dyslexia are highly intelligent, but show a deficit in the ability to learn in these areas. One common misconception about individuals with dyslexia is that they see backwards. This is incorrect. The brain just interprets information differently.

This disorder often goes undiagnosed. It is estimated that just over 10 percent of the population has dyslexia, yet only 5 percent are diagnosed and treated. It is important to catch this disorder early in a person’s life for the most successful treatments.

Types of dyslexia

  • Visual dyslexia- this is the type that there are many letter and number reversals and sequencing problems.
  • Auditory dyslexia- sounds and groups of letters are not understood, or heard correctly.
  • Trauma dyslexia- cause by brain trauma in the area that affects the area of the brain that processes reading and writing skills, not commonly seen in schools age children.
  • Primary dyslexia- dysfunction of the cerebral cortex, this type of the disorder is hereditary and even with hard work and practice, the individual rarely rises above fourth grade reading and spelling levels in their lifetime.
  • Developmental dyslexia- apparently begins in utero, cause by hormonal imbalances in fetal stage.

This is not a complete list. There are other types of dyslexia, this article is an overview of key points and common diagnosis. In order to diagnose a person with dyslexia you must have the assessed by a qualified physician, psychologist or a person trained extensively in this area. It may be a number of people working together to obtain a diagnosis.

Symptoms of dyslexia

  • Appears to have vision difficulties but passes eye tests
  • Dizziness or headaches caused from reading
  • daydreams during lessons, confused at times, frustrated with school work, uninterested
  • ·Can be very articulate in their speech, difficulties with letters and numbers
  • Frequent ear infections, skin conditions, allergic type reactions to certain foods
  • Bed wetting past typical age of achieving a dry bed in the morning
  • Good memory for facts, lacks ability to remember sequences of events etc.
  • Comprehension difficulties

This is a brief description of common symptom, not a complete list.

Tips on teaching a person with dyslexia

  • Use a variety of multi sensory teaching/learning
  • Help teach the student organization
  • Have students highlight errors
  • Recite sounds as student touches or steps on them (not letters)
  • Create a hopscotch game using letters and sounds, have the student say them as they land on the different squares
  • Reward accomplishments with a tangible gift/positive reinforcement
  • Have children point to words when reading

Parents of dyslexic children should be well informed about support groups and teaching techniques used to help their children. This can help the parent help the child learn and ease parents frustration through understanding. Parents need to work closely with teachers for the most success of their child.Be sure to form a partnership with everyone involved, include the student when possible.

Teachers should monitor their student’s and develop strategies that work best for the individual child. Notate the behavior and progress of the student when using different learning techniques. It is important that teacher communicate with the parents and any other special education teachers and aides that are involved in the academic progress of the student.

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    • KimberlyLake profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Lake 

      6 years ago from California

      @rebecca thank you for comment. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      A good ob covering the facts about dyslexia, a common and strange disability.

    • KimberlyLake profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Lake 

      6 years ago from California

      @Eddy Thanks so much for your comment and for taking the time to read my hubs

    • KimberlyLake profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Lake 

      6 years ago from California

      @ChristyWrites Thank you for your comment, I hope this article is helpful to someone

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I did not know much about dyslexia, and you offer a lot of useful information here. Thanks.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      A very well informed hub and thanks for sharing.

      I am sure it will benefit many who read.

      I now look forward to reading many more by you.

      Take care



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