What is Dyslexia?

  • “Dyslexia is difficulty with language. For people with dyslexia, intelligence is not the problem. The problem is language. They may have difficulty with reading, spelling, understanding language they hear, or expressing themselves clearly in speaking or in writing. An unexpected gap exists between their potential for learning and their school achievement. Individuals with dyslexia often have a wide range of talents, for example, in art, drama, math, or sports, yet they may have difficulty remembering things or organizing themselves. No two people with dyslexia are alike. Each has individual strengths and weaknesses. As an example, some may have difficulty with reading and spelling. Some may have difficulty with speaking clearly or have problems with handwriting. Others may have difficulty knowing right from left or before from after. Some may have additional problems, such as attentional problems.” -from IDA Basic Facts About Dyslexia-Layperson

    “We know why dyslexics, no matter how bright and motivated, experience reading difficulties. Dyslexia is a complex problem that has its roots in the very basic brain systems that allow man to understand and express language. By discovering how a disruption in these fundamental neural circuits…, we have been able to understand how the tentacles of the disorder reach out from deep within the brain and affect not only how a person reads but surprisingly, a range of other important functions as well, including the ability to spell words, to retrieve words, to articulate words, and to remember certain facts.” -from Overcoming Dyslexia
    “Research pinpoints the weakness at the lowest level of the language system. The phoneme is the fundamental element of the language system, the essential building block of all spoken and written words…the smallest unit of speech that distinguishes one word from another…In children with dyslexia, the phonemes are less well developed…Dyslexic children…have difficulty developing an awareness that spoken and written words are comprised of these phonemes or building blocks.” -from Overcoming Dyslexia
    “One of the most enduring misconceptions is that dyslexic children see letters and words backwards and that reversals (writing letters and words backward) are an invariable sign…there is no such evidence…” -from Overcoming Dyslexia