The IDA states that it is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological 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 cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
International Dyslexia Association, 2004
Dyslexia is one of several distinct learning disabilities. It is a specific, language-gased disorder of constitutional origin characterized by difficulties in single word decoding, usually reflecting insufficient phonological processing abilities. These difficulties in single word decoding are often unexpected in relation to age and other cognitive and academic abilities; they are not the result of generalized developmental disability or sensory impairment. Dyslexia is manifested by variable difficulty with different forms of language, often including, in addition to problems reading, a conspicuous problem with acquiring proficiency in writing and spelling.
G. Reid Lyon
"Toward a Definition of Dyslexia
Annals of Dyslexia, Volume XLV, 1995
Individuals with dyslexia have trouble with reading, writing, spelling and/or math even though they have the ability and have had opportunities to learn. Individuals with dyslexia can learn, but they often need specialized instruction to overcome the problem. Often these individuals, who have talented and productive minds, are said to have a language learning difference. Most of us have one or two of these characteristics. That does not mean that everyone has dyslexia. A person with dyslexia usually has several of these characteristics that persist and interfere with functioning over time.
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Relatives may have similar problems. Teacher says, “If only she would try harder." Child may have difficulty naming colors, objects, and letters rapidly, in a sequence. Others in family have weak memory for lists, directions, or facts. Some may need to see or hear concepts many times to learn them. Often, dyslexia is accompanied by ADHD.
This can be referred to as dyscalculia.
Dyslexia and ADHD can occur together, or separately. Often, one can mask the other. ADHD can be primarily inattentive, primarily hyperactive, or a combined type. This neurological difference is caused by chemical imbalance in the processing centers of the brain. Symptoms include:
If your child is having difficulties learning to read and you have noted several of these characteristics in your child, he or she may need to be evaluated for dyslexia or a related disorder.
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